Yalari News - December 2020

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Educating Indigenous Children


Dreaming, believing inspiring and achieving



ISSUE NO. 48 | December 2020



Founding Director | Waverley Stanley AM You can either GO through life or GROW through life. - John C Mawell

What a year 2020 has been. It will be one to remember for the many learnings and challenges that all of us had to face, whether you were at school or online learning at home, at work or working from home, or isolated in more ways than one. I am grateful to live in Australia — grateful that no family members of mine were affected by coronavirus. We have come out the other side of this year and to everyone in the Yalari family, thank you so very much for your continued support of our children, our young people and alumni, and for believing in their holistic education. To the Yalari board members, staff, families of our children and alumni, supporters, friends, volunteers, partnership school staff, sponsors and donors — thanks very much for your generosity. We are changing lives every day. We are changing the perceptions within this country and we will bring about generational change and healing for all. Now, we look forward to 2021. Yalari turns 16, and we welcome 45 new Yalari children to the family as they commence their educational journey at their respective boarding schools. We are also excited for the opportunity to meet face to face with everyone again at our Yalari Fundraising Dinners around Australia. Lastly, we have missed our students at Yalari’s various camps this year. So the highlight first up in 2021will be our Orientation Camp for our Year 7 and 8 students. This will be followed closely by our Year 10 Pay-it-Forward weekend, our Year 11 university weekend, and our Year 12 Pathways weekend. Waverley with Year 12 Scotch College Adelaide graduate, Imani Austin


Wishing everyone a restful, peaceful and rejuvenating break over this festive season.

Educating Indigenous Children

Yalari acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of this land. We recognise the culture, history, diversity and deep connection to land, waters and territorial seas of Australia.

Yalari is a not-for-profit organisation that offers quality, secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities.

We pay our respects to the Elders, past and present and acknowledge the Yalari office is on Kombumerri country within the lands of the Yugambeh language group of the wider area. We also acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work Australia-wide, and recognise their culture, heritage and beliefs.

We believe education is the key to generational change and a brighter future for Indigenous Australians and for our nation as a whole.

Yalari Limited | PO BOX 1355, Oxenford QLD 4210 | Ph: 07 5665 8688 | F: 07 5665 8611 | E: info@yalari.org ABN: 66 113 794 148 ACN: 113 794 148 | Yalari is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Cover Image: Year 10 The Glennie School student, Serafina Whap

Copyright © 2020 Yalari Limited. All rights reserved. The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only. The opinions and interpretations expressed within are those of the author only and may not reflect those of other identified parties. Every effort is made to ensure that information is accurate at time of printing.

Serafina’s Yalari journey is made possible by the generosity of the Earle Foundation.


Yalari - Celebrating 15 Years

Yalari Newsroom

SAVE THE DATE! The unforeseen events of 2020 caused the postponement of our annual fundraising dinners. The good news is, we are back on track to celebrate with you next year! 2021 marks Yalari’s 16th year of providing opportunities to Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote areas of Australia through our education scholarships and support programs. Together, we have encouraged Indigenous young people to dream, learn, achieve and succeed through the power of a quality education. This journey continues because of the shared dedication and belief of our valuable partners, donors, sponsors, supporters and friends like you. Next year, we will be hosting our annual dinners in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. These will be special evenings — celebrating our past and acknowledging our continued commitment to creating positive change for Indigenous children, their families and their communities. You will also hear the personal journeys of our students and alumni as we reflect on the past 16 years of dreaming, believing, inspiring and achieving!

Yalari Scholarships for Indigenous Children

Yalari Dinners and Corporate Golf D

We invite you, your friends, family and colleagues to be part of one of our unique Yalari events. Please save the date! Tickets will be available for online purchase in January.


THANK YOU BARRY & KYLIE Barry Lee, Yalari’s Gold Coast Student Support Officer for The Southport School is moving on after eight years of service at Yalari. Barry will be focussing on completing his studies in other fields. Our Student Support Officer for Geelong Grammar School, Kylie Hoey, is also leaving Yalari to embark on a travelling expedition around Australia. Thank you Barry and Kylie for everything you have done for Yalari and the children. We will miss you both.

Yalari is looking for students and families who believe that education is the key to providing a better future for Indigenous people in Australia. Boarding school scholarships are open to Indigenous children who live in regional, rural or remote areas of Australia and who will be starting Year 7 in 2022. Our scholarships are awarded to students who are willing to give 100%, try hard at everything they do, don’t give up when things get hard and are brave and determined enough to succeed at boarding school. We work closely with our students, families and partner schools to provide a high level of support in all aspects of student welfare. Scholarship information including the application pack for scholarships commencing in 2022 will be available online at www.yalari.org from 1 January 2021. Applications close Wednesday 30 April 2021.

Yalari SSOs - 2019 Orientation Camp Back L to R: Bree, Kylie and Hannah Front: Daniel and Barry

Not sure what to do or have some questions? Please call Kylie Bennett on (07) 5665 8688 and she will be happy to guide you through the application process. Yalari News - December 2020


Yalari Newsroom



Yalari scholars continue to work hard, dream big... and achieve! Connor McGovern-Cubby, Year 11 at Churchie was nominated and won the Vice-Captaincy of Goodwin House for 2021.

Taylor Hammond, Year 7 student at Kambala, received The Year 7 Kambala Award. It is a special encouragement award for working hard and trying her best all year.

Year 8 Shore student, Luke Horwood showed great passion and interest participating in the school’s cultural education day.

Year 10 Scots PGC Warwick student, Scott Taat received the Kooga Cup - Rugby Player of the Year Award.

Jemmah Ronsen, Year 11 student at The Glennie School was awarded Player of the Year - Senior Schools Cup - Volleyball and Player of the Year Open’s Rugby 7’s.

Iesha Gray, Year 9 student at Kambala earned a merit certificate for Personal Development, Health and Physical education. She received the best mark in her grade.

During their time studying from home Rishad Cook-Sabatino and Russell Whap got involved in supporting staff from AFL Cape York in running training sessions for Year 5 and 6 students on Thursday Island.

CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE! Reghan Bayles, Year 10 student at Toowoomba Grammar School was acknowledged for academic achievement at the school’s recent Speech Day.


Yalari - Celebrating 15 Years

We extend a mighty big congratulations to all Yalari students for the courage, determination and resilience to push through this very difficult year. You have done so well and we are very proud of you!

Churchie Year 11 student, Moigida Loban won the Emerging Artist Award and was also runner-up for art in his year.

NAIDOC Week is all about celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It was great to see so many celebrations happening around Yalari’s school communities.

The Glennie School NAIDOC Week celebration was out of this world! Hosted by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), the ‘Deadly Ways’ event saw singer and songwriter, Sue Ray, perform a beautiful song ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ which she co-wrote with the Glennie’s Indigenous students. USQ staff and students expertly guided students through a rotation of engaging activities which included: Bio-Med, Lab Med, Physics, Paramedicine and Nursing, drones, Indigenous games, sports and exercise.

National NAIDOC Week is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. This was a great opportunity for students to participate in and to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School. In the Boarding House, students came together to teach a song and dance from the Torres Strait Islands to the primary school children. Yalari students shared their culture which was very rewarding for them as the song has been passed down from generations.

John Paul College respectfully acknowledges each family and their cultural heritage, and are proud to recognise the land on which they learn. Several activities happened in and around campus during the week including tree planting with our Indigenous students and our younger learners undertaking a ‘Walk of Country’. This was part of a simultaneous activity coordinated by Early Childhood Australia. The theme of 2020 NAIDOC Week is ‘Always was, Always will be,’ recognising the First Nations people who have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

WAFL player (West Coast Eagles) Alicia Janz, is a former Methodist Ladies’ College, Claremont (MLC) girl. She is also on the AFL Players’ Association Indigenous Advisory Board and a team coordinator for ‘Deadly Sista Girlz’ which is a part of the Wirrpanda Foundation. Alicia visited MLC to give a speech for NAIDOC week. She spoke about her struggles and successes as a professional athlete in a male driven industry and how racism has no place on the field, at school or in society.

Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) recognised NAIDOC week at a whole school assembly which featured various cultural discussions and a performance. Yalari student, Braydon Mundy gave an Acknowledgement of Country and spoke about the meaning of NAIDOC week. He then responded to interview questions from the headmaster about the importance of culture and about his family’s hometown of Collarenabri and the Kamilaroi People. Yalari students Rishad Cook-Sabatino and Ramiyah Tamu presented a collaborative painting created by all the school’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students which will hang in the art department. And a group of the students performed together on the Yidaki (didgeridoo). This was the biggest celebration of NAIDOC in Shore’s history and there is a growing feeling of pride among the school’s First Nations students.

Yalari News - December 2020


Student Support and Development



ear 12 student Noah Smith is Churchie’s inaugural recipient of the Lloyd McDermott Medal. This award was established in honour of Churchie Old Boy Lloyd McDermott (1957), renowned for his trailblazing success as the first Indigenous Australian barrister and a member of the Australian Wallabies rugby team. In this sense, Noah is the first of many Churchie students who, inspired by Lloyd’s legacy, will find unique ways to achieve, lead and serve others. Noah commenced Churchie in Year 7 as a boarder and Yalari scholar. He grew up in Cairns and is descended from the Gubrun people in Western Australia and the Batjala people in Queensland. Churchie was, as is often the case for new boarders, a big new world for a boy from Cairns, leaving his parents and seven younger brothers to travel to Brisbane for boarding. ‘My parents thought it a good idea to send me to a school where I could explore my interests in depth and where I would receive the quality education to continue learning further beyond high school,’ Noah said. After settling into Goodwin House, Noah quickly found his feet and excelled in the world of opportunities available to him at Churchie. ‘I found a keen interest in robotics and programming, and I was heavily involved


Yalari - Celebrating 15 Years

with a robotics club in Years 10 and 11. I also played rugby, and, with service, I volunteered at Hillsong Brisbane Downtown Campus as a part of their stage crew for two years,’ Noah said. Boarding also provided a supportive social environment. ‘I have most enjoyed the fun that comes from living with your friends at Churchie, being able to speak or hang out at a moment’s notice is an experience only possible when you live close by.’ In Years 11 and 12, Noah completed the IB Diploma Programme, and his academic achievements, balanced with his cocurricular and service involvement, led to him being the first recipient of a new award for all-round excellence presented at Speech Night in October. The Lloyd McDermott Medal is awarded to an outstanding Indigenous student who has achieved academic standing and contributed to the life of the School. The recipient must be a role model and a leader, involved in service, co-curricular and spiritual awareness activities. Following Lloyd’s example, he also must demonstrate integrity and humility and a commitment to learning and the advancement of Indigenous engagement at the School. We congratulate Noah for being an exemplary Churchie young man, making the most of his opportunities and having

Noah Smith (Churchie) plans on studying a Bachelor of Information Technology (computer science) at the Queensland University of Technology.

a positive impact on those around him—a well-deserving recipient of this new honour. Noah encourages future boarding and Yalari students to have an open mind and take the time to learn and adapt to the new environment. ‘For future Yalari students, I would also say to trust your SSO and to trust Waverley. They’re there to help you and you shouldn’t have to worry about your ability to achieve highly. You just need to look at yourself and work to achieve whatever you can. If you do, you’ll find yourself a lot happier and a lot more successful at school,’ Noah said. ‘To the wonderful people who have sponsored me on a Yalari scholarship, followed my journey through school and opened my future to a world of possibilities — thank you. I would not be where I am today without your belief and support, and I am very grateful.’ Next year Noah plans to continue his education and study computer science at QUT. On behalf of both the Churchie and Yalari communities, we wish him the very best, with continued success and much happiness.


Aidan Finn (Geelong Grammar School) plans on working for 12 months before applying for a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Marketing at Melbourne University.

Cheyenne Baker (Scotch College, Adelaide) looks forward to studying Public Health at Flinders University.

Darcy Palmer (Geelong Grammar School) plans to take a gap-year then pursue further studies at university.

Georgia Dennison (Abbotsleigh) has been offered early entry into two universities. She will attend either Macquarie University for Bachelor of Human Science or Charles Sturt University for Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Diagnostic Radiography).

Haley Hunt (John Paul College) is interested in returning to her Gapuwiyak NT to work in the health and community engagement space.

Holly Austin (Abbotsleigh) will be attending Charles Sturt University to study a Bachelor of Criminal Justice.

Hunter Lawson (Shore) has secured early entry into the International College of Management Sydney – Bachelor of Property.

Imani Austin (Scotch College, Adelaide) will be studying a Bachelor of Health Science at Flinders University, Melbourne.

Jade Jolliffe (Kinross Wolaroi School) has gained early entry to Macquarie University in Sydney to study Psychology.

Jaycee Sellings (Geelong Grammar School) will be attending university in Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Education.

Kiara Sutton (Kambala) has received a traineeship as an Indigenous Research Officer at Menzies. She will complete her traineeship and continue studies at university.

Kiirra Bligh (The Southport School) has been awarded a scholarship to attend Bond University and will study a Bachelor of Construction and Quantity Surveying.

Nadia Seriat (St Margaret’s) is aiming to study Marine Biology at JCU, Townsville.

Nina Pigram (St Catherine’s School Melbourne) looks forward to working with her local community following a gap-year.

Noah Allan (Riverview) has secured the Kambri Indigenous Undergraduate Scholarship at the Australian National University for 2021.

Norah Hegedus (St Hilda’s) will be studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Queensland University of Technology.

Ricky Crawshaw-Tomlins (Riverview) has taken an internship with Yalari sponsor and supporter, RPS Group in Darwin.

Sopheena Toovey (St Margaret’s) is hoping to attend University in America to study Psychology.

Tyeena Pang (St Margaret’s) will be studying a Bachelor of Nursing Science at James Cook University.

Tyrese Carr (Kinross Wolaroi School) will be undertaking pre-program to study at University of NSW.

These Yalari journeys made possible by the generosity of the following supporters: The Earle Foundation, Campbell Edwards Trust, Di & Steve McCready, Gailey Lazarus Foundation, Judith Musgrave Family Foundation, Langports Foundation, Lipman Karas, Newsboys Foundation, Rob & Jen Sindel, Rosey Kids Foundation, The Australian Government and The Doug Hall Foundation.


Yalari News - December 2020


Yalari Events





it! id d e w r, e th e og T ! W A H YEE

Thank you! We cannot say it enough or more sincerely. Your support of our first ever Yalari Giving Day has defied all expectations.




Thank You! Andrew Buchanan


Yalari - Celebrating 15 Years

On Thursday 26 November 2020, we held a 12hour, one-day-only event with the aim of raising much needed funds by engaging with the Yalari community in a fun and rewarding way. The unfortunate and unforeseen events of 2020 had resulted in a shortfall in Yalari’s fundraising revenue due to the postponement of our annual fundraising dinners. So with that in mind, we had to think creatively about how to raise funds that will help ensure that Yalari students continue to receive the best possible education and opportunities.

Next year, 45 Indigenous children will be starting the first year of their Yalari scholarships at our 20 partner schools throughout Australia. These young students will join 189 continuing students from regional, rural and remote communities on a journey that will change their lives and impact all of those around them. Because of you, your support and every dollar you contributed to our Giving Day, we will be able to continue the important work of giving Indigenous children across Australia the opportunity to dream, learn, achieve and succeed through education. We are so humbled, grateful and completely overjoyed with your generosity and heartened by everyone involved. To the volunteers, the

A huge thank you to our wonderful matching gift partners for making every donation go even further.

Earle Foundation

Dr Trish Matthews & Neville Sandford

Hocking Mackie Family Foundation

Your messages of support... “Education is everything.” “So pleased to help create a better future for Indigenous Australians.” “Thank you for trying to create equality.” “Brilliant initiative by an impactful organisation.” “Proud to support Yalari and the amazing youth who deserve so much more.” “Inspiring work.”

donors, our matching gift partners, Davidson offices and our Yalari family far and wide — thank you. Your belief in Yalari and your support of Indigenous education is ensuring the future is in safe hands — guided and inspired by the hope and generosity of everyone who supported the day. Again, we graciously thank you for believing in, and acknowledging, the importance of a quality education for our students to bring about positive social change. We look forward to keeping you updated on how your donation is making a difference. Thank you for making positive change happen.

“Thank you dear Elders, past and present, for letting us walk on your land.” “Yalari creates respectful relationships and opportunities.” “In memory of my father who believed in the importance of an education.” “I have been a regular donor to Yalari for many years. It has been a privilege.” “All the best to Yalari students. We are proud of you.” “For our children.”

Simon Fenwick (Fenwick Family Foundation)

Steve & Di McReady

Stan & Maureen Duke Foundation

Yalari News - December 2020


Through striving TO THE HEIGHTS Per Ardua Ad Alta

Left to Right: Leila Bellotti, Leilani Fuller, Summer Lowe, Eloise Van Vugt, Harmony Bellotti, Mareeya Pigram, Tarniesha Oscar, Annette Carter


shared passion for education, equality and diversity has allowed a strong partnership between Methodist Ladies’ College in Claremont (MLC) and Yalari to be formed.

The ongoing collaboration aims to foster long-term educational outcomes while nurturing and strengthening ties to Indigenous community and culture.

Starting in 2016 with two students on a Yalari scholarship, the partnership has gone from strength to strength. The school is now a home-away-from-home to eight Yalari girls with a further four commencing Year 7 in 2021.

In 2019, Methodist Ladies’ College registered its first Reconciliation Action Plan focussing on respect, commitment and inclusiveness.

“We are honoured to partner with Yalari to provide educational opportunities for young Indigenous women at Methodist Ladies’ College in Claremont,” says MLC Principal, Dr. Marie Perry. “Our long-term relationship with Yalari is a joy and the presence and participation of our Yalari scholars in College life enriches our community just as the quality education that we provide enriches them.”


Yalari - Celebrating 15 Years

“We are dedicated to furthering our ongoing connections to Australia’s Indigenous community through our commitment with Yalari to educate and empower Indigenous children,” Dr. Perry says. Yalari staff and students look forward to another enriching, rewarding and successful year as part of the MLC community in 2021.

Partner Schools



Educating Indigenous Children


Dreaming, believing inspiring and achieving

Working together since 2016 to educate and empower Indigenous children


Current Yalari Scholars


New students in 2021

2016 Partnership formed

No nation that has neglected the mothers and daughters has ever become great. If we do the best we can for womenfolk, we are doing the best thing for mankind’.

Opening speech of Methodist Ladies’ College by AE Bray, on behalf of the Methodist Church (Saturday 7 March 1908, Western Mail).


The Methodist Ladies’ College, Perth (MLC Perth), is an independent, Uniting Church, day and boarding school for girls, located in Claremont, a western suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Founded by the Methodist Church of Australia in 1907, MLC is a non-selective school, and currently caters for more than 1,170 girls from pre-kindergarten to Year 12, including 90 boarders. The school offers a blend of cultures, ideas, innovation and imagination. The community celebrates diversity and achievement, and promotes excellence in all areas of life. Boarders from regional Australia and around the world join us from the age of 12, and live in our bespoke Boarding House, which overlooks the pristine Swan River. MLC echoes with the excitement of discovery as the girls continue their wondrous learning adventure.

An experience of love and support Yalari’s unprecedented level of support for all scholarship students is a key strength of our unique model. We have a passionate team of professionals throughout Australia who support our students, their families and our partner schools on a daily basis. Yalari has 15 Student Support Officers supporting over 200 Yalari students nationwide. Our Student Support Officer to the girls at MLC is Nadia Martich, a Yalari alumna and 2011 Calrossy School graduate. Nadia has been supporting the students since early 2017. I feel really privileged to be supporting the next generation of Indigenous female leaders at MLC as their Student Support Officer, encouraging them to try their hardest and make the most of their boarding experience. The staff and friends at MLC have been brilliant to work with over the past several years, accommodating me in the many activities I do with the girls both in and outside the boarding house. The best thing is coming into the boarding house, seeing the girls feel at home and having them welcome me into their space.

From there, it’s shoes off and paints out! I cherish every moment I have with my students and love to see them thrive at MLC, taking advantage of the many academic and sporting opportunities and especially seeing them make life-long friends through Yalari and the wider MLC community. It is such a beautiful environment and I feel honoured to have spent the past few years watching the relationship between MLC and Yalari grow and helping to make a homeaway-from-home for our Yalari girls.”

Yalari News - December 2020


Partner Schools

National innovation recognition for St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School has been named as one of Australia’s most innovative schools for the third consecutive year. Each year, The Educator releases its Innovative Schools report, revealing schools at the cutting edge of change and innovation in Australia. This year, St Margaret’s was recognised for innovation on two fronts; the first being a published collection of stories authored by the school’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students entitled Gidhal and the second being a STEAM initiative which provides Visual Art students opportunities to engage with innovative technologies to create virtual reality and augmented reality artworks. Gidhal, meaning ‘stories’ in Kala Lagaw Ya (a language from the Torres Strait), is a rich collection of stories, artworks, interviews or profiles from St Margaret’s students who are from ten communities across Australia and who together speak 11 languages. Principal Ms Ros Curtis said: “Gidhal pays respect to who we are and where we came from, bringing these stories to life for our entire St Margaret’s community, and is also a wonderful record for our students to access and learn from the stories of First Nations people.” The second initiative is providing St Margaret’s students with opportunities to engage with innovative technologies to create virtual reality and augmented reality artworks. Students are illustrating the pages from a children’s book in three dimensions using VR technology and software; experimenting with audio to animate their VR paint strokes; and working on a collaborative VR painting accompanied by the school orchestra to help bring a musical composition to life. Ms Curtis explained the STEAM initiative is preparing students for jobs of the future. “A career path using augmented and visual reality technologies will be a lot more commonplace in the future with applications in a range of industries from design, science, ICT and more. “Art is proving to be a great access point to this technology, giving students confidence and demonstrating possibilities in life and in art,” she said. Ms Curtis said she was thrilled to receive the award. “We are very proud of both projects and to be the recipient of ‘The Educator’ magazine’s 2020 Innovation Award for the third year in a row really affirms we are leading the way in providing learning experiences and educational opportunities that will secure the best possible future for our girls,” she said. - Article and images provided by St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School




Well done to the Yalari students and alumni who participated in this wonderful story-telling project by sharing their stories.

Indira Laifoo (alumna)

Shemyliah Ahmat

Elyne Tighe

Tyeena Pang

Bella Griffiths

Chantay Turner

Dulcie Loban

Nadia Seriat

Jazleen de Busch (alumna)

Ella Nona

Charlea Smith

Taneale Lawton (alumna)

Sofia (Wini) Nona

Charli Jones

Yalari - Celebrating 15 Years

Yalari News - December 2020


Yalari Alumni

Catching up

with our inspiring Alumni

Yalari Alumni Leading, connecting, giving

Amber Phineasa

Class of 2011 | The Glennie School, Toowoomba

We recently caught up with Yalari alumna Amber Phineasa to see what she’s been up to since graduating from The Glennie School in 2011.

I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2014 as a Boatswains Mate. Since then, I’ve gone through Recruit School in Melbourne for 13 weeks, graduated and became a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy. I then moved into Category School to study for about six months, graduated and became a rated sailor in the Navy (which means I received my first promotion to Seaman). I joined HMAS DARWIN 04 in 2015 based in Sydney, where I received my next promotion to the rank of Able Seaman. During my two years on HMAS DARWIN, I did a few deployments around the world – South East Asia (four months), OP MANITOU in the Middle East (seven months), International Fleet review in India with Navy from across the world, New Zealand fleet review (three months), a trip around Australia and helped in the Earthquake in Kaikoura, New Zealand. In 2017, HMAS DARWIN was decommissioned. In 2018, I joined NUSHIP BRISBANE (which are the new destroyer ships we have in the Navy) and became a part of the commissioning team. We commissioned the NUSHIP BRISBANE to Her Majesty Australian Ships – HMAS BRISBANE in October 2018. We continued to train at sea to get the ship up-to-speed with everything. Late last year, we deployed to America for five months for our Combat System Trials with the US. I visited a few places like Tahiti, Canada and New Caledonia. It was beautiful! Recently, I was promoted to the rank of Leading Seaman which comes with more responsibilities. During my sea posting on HMAS BRISBANE, I also received a commanding officer commendation award for being the ship’s survival equipment maintainer on board the ship. I look after all the survival equipment and make sure they are serviced and always in date before we set sail. It has been exhausting, tough and challenging, especially being away from loved ones for so many years. I haven’t had a proper Christmas holiday (or any holiday) with my families, friends and partner. Family members have passed away while I’ve been abroad and I’ve missed out on a lot of family events, especially my sister’s wedding (which she’ll never let me forget!) But they were very understanding of why I couldn’t attend and they were proud of what I’ve achieved, where I’ve been around the world and how I’m a role model to my community. They are the reason why I am still going strong through the tough times, being away on deployments and living away from home. It’s definitely worth coming home to them every time!

Yalari News - December 2020


Partners, Donors and Sponsors

Donor Spotlight:

Andrew Buchanan

Yalari supporter, Andrew Buchanan shares his unique journey that inspired him to support Indigenous education.


ife for each of us is a challenge and it’s the manner in how we manage that challenge which is the key to survival, or success, or a contentment in life.

I have always believed if we as individuals face challenges at an early age, hopefully with a little luck, we are more equipped to face other challenges with a greater degree of insight and determination, or more importantly assist others. With a little naivety, I always thought my family was very normal. In hindsight, perhaps not! My mother contracted polio shortly before I was born and was paralysed from the chest down. When I was a few days old it was determined I too had polio and am paralysed on my right side. We were taken from Bathurst District Hospital to Sydney and spent 18 months in hospital before returning to our farm between Bathurst and Oberon. My mother had two more children. She managed admirably and ran the household from her wheelchair. It was at O’Connell Public School I first encountered Indigenous children and without realising at the time, my admiration commenced for the struggle they encountered. Again, with a touch of naivety at the age of ten I decided I wanted to become a radio announcer! The dream eventuated and I arrived in Mudgee in the Central Tablelands of NSW on the afternoon Australia’s Prime Minister, Harold Holt disappeared. After several years in commercial radio and TV I joined the ABC in Rockhampton in Central Queensland as an announcer and was privileged to have 27 most enjoyable years with the national broadcaster. If I am to be honest, my preference was broadcasting in both radio and television to regional and rural audiences. The immediacy and contact with the audience was palpable and far more rewarding than in a metropolitan area. I was indeed fortunate though, to have had the experience of broadcasting in Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Toowoomba, Brisbane & Newcastle, and nationally from Sydney during industrial disputes! It was during my period as State Manager in Queensland for the ABC I worked with our Indigenous Trainee Broadcasters and travelled regularly with board member, Senator Neville Bonner. Neville was much loved and highly respected throughout Australia. As General Manager of ABC Local Radio, I led a creative team running 60 local stations around the country including two Indigenous stations, at Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek in Western Australia. ABC Managing Director, David Hill was passionate about Indigenous broadcasting and to see the reaction, particularly of our indigenous broadcasters when Senator Bonner would appear, is a memory I shall treasure. On one occasion, Neville and I were visiting Woorabinda, where Neville had spent part of his boyhood. We hired a car from Rockhampton airport and I drove. Neville asked, “when we arrive at the front entrance of Woorabinda, can I take over and drive through the settlement? It would make me very proud to do this, because as a boy I only entered and departed on the back of a cattle truck.” After some hours we duly arrived and I suggested Neville should take over. As we passed one another at the rear of the car, our companions


Yalari - Celebrating 15 Years

in the back seat did not hear Neville say, “I thought you had forgotten you bastard!” I married a Boydell and as you would expect, our introduction to Yalari was through their highly capable chairman, Mary Boydell. I have never met anyone who was so passionate and committed to the cause which she embraced whole heartedly and convinced others to follow.

Kate Buchanan (left) with

Mary Boydell It is sometimes said leadership is made up of the 3 C’s: courage / conviction / compassion; or is it the 3 D’s: determination / dedication / discipline?

To me Mary personified the 3C’s and the 3D’s. This combined with her incredible humility, practicality & vision, and her utmost respect & admiration for Waverley added to the already strong foundation of Yalari. To put it simply Mary exhibited grace, poise and purpose. We may well say, we love Yalari. And Kate, and our two daughters, and their families, are huge admirers of the organisation. May I suggest it is best summed up in Mary’s words: “I love being involved with Yalari because it matters. It matters for Indigenous children, their families & communities, and it matters for Australia”.

To learn more about The Mary Boydell Endowment Fund, and how you can contribute, please visit www.yalari.org/MBEF.

Partners, Donors and Sponsors

HERITAGE BANK CHARITABLE FOUNDATION Yalari is honoured to be one of the first recipients of Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation’s charitable grants. A result of two years of preparatory work, the Foundation has been established as a new force for good in Australia’s philanthropic landscape.

CATCHING UP WITH FRIENDS It was a pleasure to recently catch-up with some of our wonderful Queenslandbased supporters for a round of golf and a bite to eat. What great practice for the Yalari Golf Day which has been rescheduled for 2021!

This first round of grants was targeted specifically at charities hit hard by COVID-19, recognising how difficult fundraising has been for those organisations during the pandemic.


Thank you, Helen and Nicole from Heritage Bank, and Paul and Christine from Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation. We really appreciate your belief and support.

The team generously bought Christmas gifts for our 31 Year 7 Queensland students to add a little cheer to what has been a difficult year for many.

A special welcome and humble thank you to the wonderful team at K&L Gates.

THANK YOU - RPS GROUP We are so grateful for our incredible partnership with RPS Group, national supporters of Yalari. RPS Group not only sponsors a student scholarship, but they also provide volunteers for Yalari dinners, are involved with our Indigenous internship program and have generously fundraised for our first ever Yalari Giving Day. Yalari alumna Rekisha Satour recently addressed over 130 RPS Group employees via Zoom, in a special NAIDOC Week presentation. Thank you for letting us share the Yalari story and the importance of NAIDOC with you all.


#yalari #generationalchange #indigenous #educatingindigenouschildren Did you know that Yalari is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Follow us and keep up-to-date on what’s happening around the Yalari community.




If you would like to submit a story, provide feedback, share some photos or have any questions regarding our publication, please contact Alison MacKenzie - comms@yalari.org. Yalari News - December 2020


This scholarship means a lot to me - like family away from family. I am really thankful for the opportunities I get down here at Scotch and that’s because of your caring.” Keenan Kennedy Year 9 student Scotch College, Adelaide

Merry Christmas Together, this year we have continued the journey of empowerment through a quality education for over 200 Indigenous children. Please accept our extra special thanks for being a vital part of our community, committed to helping Indigenous young people be the best they can be. We wish you love, joy and peace for the festive season.

Keenan’s Yalari journey is made possible by the generosity and support of Babcock.


Educating Indigenous Children DEC20YALANEWS



Dreaming, believing inspiring and achieving

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