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Yalari Quarterly Newsletter

Issue 26

December 2014


Waverley Stanley Founding Director Tim Oughton – Yalari Board Member, 2009-2014 I’ve met many educators over the years, and I can honestly say that Tim Oughton is up there with the best of them. I’m sure he will be as greatly missed as the Principal of Scotch College Adelaide as he will be in the boardroom of Yalari. For the past five years I’ve enjoyed and been humbled by Tim’s commitment to Yalari and more specifically, the Yalari students at Scotch. Tim, and his wife Heather have literally opened the doors to their kitchen and home for the students to feel comfortable and comforted at the same time. Tim has joined me on the road interviewing children in the Northern Territory and The Kimberley, been hands-on as a board member of Yalari through thick and thin, and led Scotch College and the wider Scotch community to become one that we at Yalari are extremely honoured and proud to be part of. We wish Tim all the best as he takes up his position as the Executive Principal of Kristin School Albany in Auckland, New Zealand in 2015, and I am sure that he and Heather will enjoy the opportunity to be closer to their first grandchild, Hugo. I would like to personally thank Tim and Heather for their friendship and support. Yalari Board Member Tim Oughton and Yalari Founding Director Waverley Stanley.

Yalari, and Australia, are all the more richer for Tim’s contribution and commitment to the education and empowerment of all children.

‘It takes a whole community to educate a child.’ KAITE MCADAM, YEAR 11 ST HILDA’S SCHOOL ENGLISH ASSIGNMENT St Hilda’s School Year 11 English class was asked to do an assignment by interviewing someone of their choice. Kaite chose Waverley, and received an A for her final mark. Waverley Stanley is changing the word ‘Aboriginal’ by giving Indigenous children opportunities.

with Mandela as he strives for the same goals. Waverley is now the Founding Director of Yalari Limited and his dream for better opportunities for Indigenous children’s education has come true. Yalari was established in 2005, and gives young Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities and towns across Australia the amazing opportunity to attend a first-class secondary education.

Growing up with three younger brothers, three younger sisters and a big extended family from Murgon and Cherbourg was a strong childhood memory for Waverley.

Waverley’s biggest motivators are the Yalari students who are currently at boarding schools and the graduates who are now a part of the Yalari Alumni. For someone who would want to follow in his footsteps, Waverley explains, “Find your passion and work hard to achieve what you want in life. The definition of the best job is doing what you love and getting paid to do it. Have the courage to chase a dream and follow through and achieve it no matter what.” He goes on to mention a quote from Martin Luther King Jnr that has helped him during tough times. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in moments of challenge and controversy.”

When Waverley was asked why he decided to create Yalari, he answered with, “I attended Toowoomba Grammar School as a boarder from 1980 -1984 and it was through my experience at boarding school that I wanted to give other Indigenous children the same educational opportunity that I had.”

Yalari has been running one whole decade now and has achieved so many things over its ten years and is awaiting more to come. Waverley is such an inspiration to Yalari students because he shows initiative in trying to reach his goals.

Waverley’s biggest inspiration is, and always will be, Nelson Mandela. He describes Mandela as a man of conviction and a man who believed he could help others unselfishly in his life. To a great extent, I believe that Waverley has a lot in common

The Yalari students are forever grateful for the opportunities given to them because of Waverley’s hard work and dedication.

Who would’ve thought a 12 year old Indigenous boy would have his future planned without knowing it. Waverley is a man of his word and believes that everything is possible. There is no such thing as impossible. Waverley comes from Murgon, a small town located in the region of Queensland known as the South Burnet. He was born in Rockhampton, Queensland.

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27 Yalari Graduates, 2014.

YALARI YEAR 12 GRADUATION The Annual Yalari Graduation Ceremony is a celebration of the achievements our scholars have made during their time at boarding school and the commitment they have made to completing Year 12.

The ceremony was held at The Royal Military College, Duntroon. Use of this beautiful facility was made possible by long-term Yalari supporter and President of the Podmore Foundation, Associate Professor Bob Breen. Podmore currently sponsor nine Yalari scholars, one of whom is Rhianna Pitt who will graduate from Abbotsleigh in Sydney later this year. Rhianna, along with 26 other graduates were joined at the celebration by a group of proud parents and Yalari staff members. Professor Mick Dodson AM graciously lent his time to attend the ceremony to congratulate the scholars. He delivered a moving speech about working through times of failure and hardship to come out the other side stronger, wiser, and more prepared to take on the world. Professor Dodson congratulated each scholar as they received their certificate from Yalari’s Founding Director Waverley Stanley.

Following the graduation ceremony a few students rushed off to the airport for flights back to school so they could attend weekend sport, while the rest eagerly joined Yalari staff and made their way to Jindabyne, in the NSW Snowy Mountains. In front of a tantalisingly warm open fire with a plate of tasty spaghetti bolognese in hand, friendships matured as those present came to the realisation that this would be their last Yalari get-together as secondary school scholars. Early the following morning a cosily dressed crowd were on their way to the snowfields. Lessons were booked for those who had never skied or snowboarded before, while experienced others were off to explore bigger slopes. With the end of the first day came a few bumps and a few bruised egos, but thankfully no major injuries. Returning to the slopes on Sunday the students enjoyed trying out their new skills before heading back to Canberra, and eventually back to school. Yalari would like to congratulate all 27 of our Year 12 students on their

Waverley Stanley with Year 12 graduate Liam Longbottom and Professor Mick Dodson, AM.

achievements to date and welcome them to join the growing Yalari Alumni. We extend our appreciation and gratitude to Herbert Smith Freehills for sponsoring the 2014 Yalari Graduation Weekend. “Attending the Yalari graduation held at Duntroon was an absolute pleasure. To watch our son Liam graduate with a fine group of young his peers , was just the most amazing feeling. I will be eternally grateful to Waverley and all at Yalari who gave Liam the most fantastic opportunity and looked after him like he was family. You are all amazing. The ceremony was truly beautiful. Thank you from the Longbottom family.” - Bruce and Keren Longbottom.

2014 Yalari graduation weekend kindly sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills

Left and above, Rhianna Pitt, Della Bedford and Curtley Oakley on the slopes during the Yalari graduation weekend. PAGE 3


LARISSA WOOSUP Year 11 at Canberra Girls’ Grammar School was elected school Vice-Captain for 2015.

STUDENT TEX GARSTONE &

KLAUDIA FARNHAM Year 8 and Year 7 at Geelong Grammar School are performing in the Middle School Play Buggsy Malone. REGGIE MADDEN Year 10 at Scotch College Adelaide was awarded “The Alan Hickinbotham Trophy for the Most Outstanding Year 10 Footballer” Award.

JADALYN DE BUSCH

ALESHA HARRISON

Year 11 at St Margarets School has been selected as Cricket captain and school prefect for 2015.

Year 8 at St Catherine’s School Melbourne has been selected to partake in a school exchange to Pymble Ladies College, Sydney over one week in November.

RACHYL CAMERON Year 11 at St Margarets School has been selected as Oaktree captain (charity work) and softball captain for 2015. AIDAN BESTWICK

Year 12 at Scotch Adelaide was awarded “The Lestyn Llewellyn-Smith Prize for Best Player” in Volleyball.

Year 9 at The Scots College toured Switzerland with The Scots College Pipes and Drums Band, performing in the internationally recognised Basel Tattoo.

BRADLEY MCADAM &

JOHANNA LOBAN

KALEISHIA ROSS

JACOB NICHALOFF

Year 12 at Scotch College Adelaide have just completed a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation through the Aboriginal AFL Academy. JAZLEEN DE BUSCH Year 11 at St Margarets School has been selected as Drama captain, school prefect and boarding captain for 2015. WAYNE MUMBULLA Year 12 at The Armidale School was elected as a prefect for 2015. PAGE 4

Year 8 St Margarets School was awarded MVP for the open volleyball team and the rising star award at the recent sports dinner. TYE BEDFORD Year 9 at St Peters College, Adelaide made the Saints 1st (Div 1) Football team, a first for a Year 9 student. KAHLISHA AUSTRAL Year 12 at Presbyterian Ladies’ College Armidale received 45/50 for her major art work.

JABREENI FOGARTY Year 11 at The Southport School, Gold Coast participated in a Round Square Conference and tour in India. RHIANNON REVELL-BLAIR Year 8 St Margarets School toured Europe last school holidays playing rugby league. Recently she has also competed in the Rugby 7’s on the Gold Coast where her team won. RYAN O’CALLAGHAN Year 8 St Peters College, is a member of the Saint’s athletics team which continued its reign was awarded the Archillies Cup after winning 43 out of the last 44 Athletics competitions within the Division A Competition. KELSIE MAHON Year 11 at The Glennie School received a Bronze Medal and Coaches Award for Volleyball, is a Hale House Committee member for 2015.


BRANDON HARRADINE Year 12 at The Armidale School has been selected for a Major Prize in the 2014 NSW Year 12 Design and Technology Competition.

ACHIEVEMENTS CHELSEA OLIVER

JEB COLLINS-WIDDERS

KANE BRUNJES

Year 11 at The Glennie School is a Member of the Sport’s Committee for 2015.

Year 9 at St Ignatius College, Riverview is a finalist in the school English artwork competition.

Year 10 at Toowoomba Grammar School made the 15A Rugby team in the GPS comp.

KHIAECIA MILGATE

BEAU PETTERSON

TYUS ARNDT

Year 9 at the Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Armidale was chosen to play in the Newcastle Netball Koori Knockout.

Year 12 St Ignatius College, Riverview played in the Riverview 1st XV rugby team.

Year 12 at The Anglican Church Grammar School, Brisbane has been awarded a scholarship to study a diploma course at Bond University.

EZEKIEL STANLEY Year 12 at The Anglican Church Grammar School, Brisbane has been selected as the first Yalari graduate to work as a gap student for a year at Geelong Grammar School’s Timbertop campus in 2015. MIA HODGES

RACHEL PONTER Year 11 at Methodist Ladies College was selected to be the director of the MLC Boarding House play. She adapted the play ‘A Very Potter Musical’ and managed 40 participants. JACKSON HANBIDGE

Year 10 at Canberra Girls Grammar School was elected as Robertson Vice Captain.

Year 11 at The Scots College has been awarded school colours for his contribution to the school cadets program.

LOGAN TAYLOR

FINLAY YEEDA

Year 12 at The Southport School received a scholarship to study Bachelor of Commerce at Bond University for 2015.

Year 11 at St Hilda’s School was highly praised for her efforts waitressing at the Year 11 Hospitality Spring Breakfast.

KERIBA BLIGH

ISAAC BURGOYNE

Year 8 at The Southport School received the IG Browne Award (shared award) for Most Improved Year 8 in Delpratt.

Year 8 at Toowoomba Grammar School has received a Pro Diligentia award for this semester.

“Empowered by technology, you - the young people - are connecting and collaborating across borders and cultures like never before as you seek to build a new future. So the opportunities today are limitless. When you look at the facts, opportunities are limitless for this generation. You’re living in an extraordinary time.” From President of the United States of America Barack Obama’s speech in Brisbane during the G20 Summit.

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Broadspectrum and Transfield Services Broadspectrum is predominantly an Electrical and Instrumentation construction and maintenance services company in the heavy industrial sector. The business provides services to blue chip clients in the mining, oil and gas and power generation sector such as BHPB, Santos and AGL. Transfield Services is an extremely diverse business providing operations and maintenance support services to Resources and Industrials, Infrastructure and Defence, Social and Property clients. Broadspectrum and Transfield Services have been the generous Gold Sponsor for the Yalari Adelaide Dinner for three years. General Manager, Rob Edwards says, ‘As each year passes we become more aware of the enormous collaborative effort that is required to provide the opportunity afforded to every child fortunate enough to be supported by Yalari. It is a truly joint effort between the following key stakeholders: Yalari, the schools, the boarding houses, the school community and extended families, and most of all the families and communities of each child. In addition and just as

important, are all the benefactors, donors and sponsors of Yalari, for without their funding the entire organisation could not exist. It is for this reason that we are honoured to be able to play a small part in the ongoing support of this great organisation.’ ‘In my case, it was my wife Dawn as a parent of students that were friends with the Yalari kids that started her involvement. This ultimately led to her involvement with the dinner organising committee. As a result of this connection and our business’s strong Indigenous participation expectations we were able to get the internal support to provide the level of sponsorship that we currently offer.’ Rob goes on to say, ‘Our support of Yalari is a key component of the business’ overall Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP provides the road map for our business in all aspects of Indigenous engagement from cultural awareness, education through to employment. The RAP also demonstrates the company’s commitment to Australia’s national efforts to closing the Indigenous life expectancy gap and outlines measurable actions to increase Indigenous participation within our business through Relationships, Respect and Opportunities. ‘ ‘Broadspectrum and Transfield Services looks forward to building on this partnership with Yalari and specifically urge all sectors of the community to get behind this life changing organisation. ‘ Rob adds, ‘With great opportunity comes great responsibility, so we trust that Yalari scholars will be able to leverage the very best from this experience and become an important part of the wider Australian community’.

Photo: From left, Tyus Arndt, Jacob Nichaloff, Dawn Edwards, Reggie Madden and Rob Edwards at the Yalari Adelaide Dinner in October this year. PAGE 6


GREAT POWER OF SPIRIT & MEANING LIVES WITHIN EVERY CHILD BY DAWN EDWARDS

This Yalari story time travels back five years sitting around our dining table enjoying a meal and catching up on each other’s day. Laughter is great for the soul and contagious when reliving the fun and antics of two really special lads Peter Ah Sam is the same age as our daughter Candice; they met in Year 9 and quickly formulated their friendship on humour and ease of conversation. Jacob Nichaloff is our son Brandon’s age and they easily established a friendship and a great love for sport. Rob and I, as parents, became aware of these specials bonds and felt equally acquainted as the story telling involving these two charming fellows became ritualistic. Exeat weekends require and encourage Scotch boarders to spend time with school community families, allowing them to enjoy a spell from the hallowed halls and morph into a welcoming home. We anticipated the requests from both our children or from Peter and Jacob themselves A room at Hotel Edwards was confirmed without a second of hesitation. The spare bedroom became an intense space of hierarchy and the threat of personal posters and adornment of personal items always initiated gladiatorial sparring and spontaneous laughter. I have fond recollections of many an entry through the back door of our home and the high spirited jostling for pole position to take the preferred single bed in the room. All the while the banter was rising to its natural crescendo as belongings were strategically placed. In a frenzy of chatter and laughter the four of them would erupt into the kitchen as the after school feasting celebration would commence. Fridge door, pantry door, glass or cup retrieval was a symphony my ears were very accustomed to. Not a breath was wasted as each competed for a place on the verbal podium. In the winter they would magnetically be drawn to the open fire in the lounge room watching a movie, listening to music, playing a board game or all of the above. In the summer

the heat and smell of the salt water chlorinated pool beckoned. We live on a rural property surrounded by bush that demands hushed tranquillity, that is of course until the explosion of laughter, the obligatory bombing and the ownership of floating devices create the next level of mild mannered arguments. The roos, koalas, possums and bird life accustomed to their quiet lifestyle, made considerable relocation further out bush to avoid the cacophony. Because of our isolation, outdoor day or night adventure can provide many a memorable moment. The majesty simply of natural bush or the shrieking discovery at night in the reflective torch light of a spider web from an episode of ‘journey to the centre of the earth’ would always make me smile. One of our great pleasures was being able to celebrate Peter’s 18th birthday with all of his family from Darwin here in Adelaide at our home. The dining table, the centre piece of our home, provided the perfect setting to enjoy our food and conversation which melded our two families together in perfect harmony. We feel so privileged and are extremely grateful to be able to support Peter and Jacob being so far from home and finding some solace, safety and acceptance as part of our family. Sheree and Kylie respectfully have allowed us to share some really special and so very valuable time with their sons. We have now a significant chapter in our lives that will always remain indelibly inked in our past, present and future. Peter and Jacob have both made a huge contribution in this world as wonderful, respectful, caring and uniquely distinguished people. Their parents are undoubtedly so proud of their achievements and we look forward very much to their continued growth. It has been my very great pleasure, with instant reward, to be involved with the Yalari fundraising dinner committee here in Adelaide, an association that I jumped at from inception at Scotch. Pride, admiration, laughter and tears are the general items on the evening menu of this annual event, as we realise just how much of a difference education, and the love and support a family at home or within a school community, can make. I love the word “Yalari”. Great power of spirit and meaning lives within every child if they believe they can make a difference. Waverley and Lou are great ambassadors that nurture and assist in the provision of amazing opportunities for everyone who want to be involved in Yalari. The experience will furnish your lives with wonderful memories, meeting pure hearted Indigenous children and their families who greet or farewell you always with a punctuated radiant smile.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR TUTORS! Yalari scholars starting their journey at boarding school require a range of support in their first year and beyond. Volunteer tutoring is a fantastic way to assist these students throughout their education. You would be required to commit to one night per week, usually for one hour during school semesters, at a location on the school premises. We are looking for generalist tutors who may have previous tutoring or teaching experience. You will need to have the ability to fit in with the parameters of the school. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Pam Boavida on 07 5665 8688 if you are interested or need further information. PAGE 7


YALARI ADELAIDE DINNER The weather couldn’t have been better in Adelaide for our fourth Yalari Adelaide Dinner. We welcomed 256 guests to the magnificent Bonython Hall within the University of Adelaide and the night was sponsored for the third year by Broadspectrum/Transfield Services. The evening was made even more special because the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency, the Honourable Hieu Van Le and his wife Mrs Lan Le were in attendance. All guests were welcomed to the hall with a smoking ceremony performed by Major Moogie Sumner. Our students took on all of the key roles on the night with Nara MacMillan (Year 10, Scotch College, Adelaide) and Zainel Bin Busu (Year 8, Great Southern Grammar School, Albany) as our very competent and entertaining Master of Ceremonies. Tyus Arndt (Year 12, Anglican Church Grammar School, Brisbane) sang a moving and impassioned ‘My Island Home’ accompanied by the talented and multi-skilled Llew Mullins. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after Kaleishia Ross’ (Year 12, Scotch College, Adelaide) touching and honest address.

Tyus Arndt and Llew Mullins perform

Kaleishia Ross

We said farewell to Tim Oughton (Headmaster of Scotch College, Adelaide) and his wife Heather, who are moving back to New Zealand to live. Tim and Heather have embraced the Yalari program at Scotch College and their home has been the ‘home away from home’ for many of our students. Our dinners give us the opportunity of spreading the word about what we do, showcasing our diversely talented students, introducing our sponsors to our students and raising much needed funds to support our scholarship program. We were grateful to our Principle South Australian partner, Santos and to Lipman Karas, Pike & Franks and Bond Aviation for taking Corporate tables on the night.

From left, Calvin Hunter, Quilon Councillor, Patsy Murray, Headmaster of St Peters College Simon Murray, Adan Taat and Ryan O’Callaghan.

We couldn’t have had our dinner without the time, commitment and energy of our enthusiastic dinner committee, our wonderful volunteers from St Peter’s College, Scotch College, Medibank Community Fund and Accenture and the donations from the generous Adelaide Community.

PLATINUM DINNER SPONSOR:

PRINCIPLE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PARTNER: From left, Great Southern Grammar Deputy Headmaster Richard Baird with Jaimee Ladyman, Alkira Miller, Tramaine Laterre, Michelle Berrigan, Zainel Bin Busu, Rekisha Sator, Zamahl Bin Busu and Abby Richards.

EVENT PARTNERS: CORPORATE TABLES:

The Yalari Adelaide Dinner Committee. PAGE 8


Townson Uta comes from Sabai Island in the Torres Strait. He can’t help but smile when he talks about home, though he only gets there twice a year these days. “It’s really calm and chilled. Brisbane is so rushed and crazy and crowded. Everything just slows right down when you hop off the plane at Sabai, I get really lazy. I sleep, I fish, I hang out with my family and I eat. It’s wonderful.” To get to Sabai for Christmas and midyear university holidays, Townson catches a flight from Brisbane to Cairns, then another smaller plane to Horn Island. Then he waits for a much smaller plane, often the mail plane. It usually stops at Yam, Mabuiag and Boigu Islands before finally arriving at Sabai. It’s a long trip because it’s a vast distance - from the beach on the island you can see Papua New Guinea, only seven kilometres away. Townson applied for an IYLP scholarship for Year 8 at St Augustine’s College in Cairns. In 2010 Yalari became one of eight brokers administering the IYLP for the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations, and this brought Townson into the Yalari family. He has impressed everyone since with his kind nature, leadership skills and enthusiasm for absolutely everything. “I really miss Saints” he says, “I loved boarding, absolutely loved it. I had all my mates around me 24/7. I was part of a really tight knit community; it was like a five year sleepover party. I also loved representing the school in sport

and drama and music. I was proud to wear my blazer at the IYLP and Yalari events when all the other kids wore their blazers too. I really liked helping all the other Indigenous boys who came to the school. I remember how lost I was when I started and how freaked out I got when the homework starting arriving. It was overwhelming. It was nice to be able to be a role model for those new boys, help them get around and settle in”.

I become. I’ve just changed my minor study from Sound Design to Marketing. I love music and I love making it, but I need to make sure I get a good job at the end of all this. I’m also doing Entertainment Law this semester which is hard but really interesting. I think ultimately I’d like to work on events, great big huge events like music or arts festivals as a producer I would hope - definitely one of the big bosses!”

Yalari also noticed Townson’s leadership qualities, and has invited him to be a Junior Leader at both an Orientation Camp and the Year 11 Horizon’s camp at the University of Queensland. We accommodated the Year 11 boys at King’s College, and the girls at Women’s College, and partner with the UQ MBA faculty to run this camp. Townson has a great way with the younger students and they really look up to him.

In the short term Townson is getting ready for exams and then he is doing a weeks of work experience with his sponsor MTV Networks Australia in Sydney. “This is going to be really cool, they are an amazing bunch of people. I met them at the Yalari Sydney Dinner last year when they announced the partnership with Yalari and they were great. I get to spend a week at their headquarters and get to see all the aspects of the business. I wonder if they’ll give me a job after my degree?”

King’s is where Townson resides while he studies for his Bachelor of Entertainment Industries at QUT. He’s just been elected to a leadership position at King’s – he’s now known as the Social Minister. “I get to organize a lot of social events, including some parties. It’s a real honour and good for my career as well.” “I chose my degree because I was really torn about doing something creative and doing something with Business,” says Townson. “This way I get to do both. The further I get into the degree the more sensible

Townson only has another year at university, is maintaining a Grade Five Point Average and is serious about his studies. After his work with MTV in Sydney, Townson finally gets to go home, to Sabai. At the end of that long journey he’ll go fishing. He fishes every day because they eat fish almost every day. He’s looking forward to traditional foods like Dugong, turtle, and also crayfish which he will catch himself. Then sleep, lots of sleep, dreaming of great big music festivals.

MINISTER OF FUN TOWNSON UTA PAGE 9


‘Get involved, you will get back so much more than you give.’ Helena and Denise have been friends for over 20 years and like all old good friends, it shows. They laugh loudly with and at each other, they finish off and correct the other ones stories, and they rope each other into most things.

mothers who have made great personal sacrifices to send their daughters far away for schooling. I do for the girls, what I hope others would do for my daughters when they are far from home or in an unfamiliar place.’

That’s how it started with Yalari. Helena, a qualified accountant, heard about Yalari through her Rotary Club. ‘They needed people to help with a mail out, ‘Helena explains, ‘so Denise and I went along. Next thing we were filling out volunteer forms and tutoring the new Year 8 girls at St Hilda’s School the following week. That was almost four years ago and now I’m enjoying shopping with those same girls for their dresses for their Year 11 formal.’

‘We quickly became very attached to the girls and have them for home stays on the weekend or if they are unwell just to give them a little piece of home as they are so far from theirs, ‘Denise says, ‘Some of the older girls are doing Traineeships so we have had them to stay while they do extra work in the holidays.’

Denise continues the story, ‘I originally trained as a primary school teacher in Tassie but moved to Queensland many years ago with my husband Anthony. I’d recently seen a program on educating Indigenous children and always hoped to be involved in some way. The timing was perfect because my three wonderful daughters had just left home.’ Helena fills in more detail, ‘That’s how we met, through our daughters learning the violin at primary school. Don and I have two daughters. Together, we have travelled all over the world with and without our children on cycling and skiing holidays.’ Helena’s daughter Lizzie also tutors the girls when she is home on the Gold Coast. ‘I try to give the Yalari girls the same advice and guidance that I gave my own daughters,’ Helena says. ‘All the girls I work with have strong loving

‘Now we tutor the new Grade 8 girls as well as support the Year 11 girls from Halls Creeks, ‘Helena continues. ‘I take the girls out when they need a break from boarding. We have them to stay or just out for shopping and dinner with my family. We also assist their Student Support Officer Tawnee with transport needs to dentists and doctors.’

Helena and Denise’s passion and enthusiasm for Yalari has encouraged their husbands to support Yalari also. Don Knight, a chartered accountant with KPMG on the Gold Coast, is a Director of the Reuben Pelerman Foundation who sponsor a Yalari student’s education; and Anthony Benjamin is a Veterinary Surgeon who has facilitated the work experience at Greencross Vets for one of our alumni studying Veterinary Technology at the UQ Gatton campus.

Helena interrupts, ‘I had never had the opportunity to meet Aboriginal Australians before helping out with Yalari.’

‘I love working with the Yalari organisation. I admire Llew and Waverley who have dedicated their lives to these children. I think they work 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. They are inspirational human beings who are giving students amazing opportunities. They work so hard. Llew is always only a phone call away at any time of the day of night.’ Helena says. ‘I really love the students I work with and hope I never lose contact with any of them.’

Denise continues, ‘On the weekend just gone, the girls came to our house and filmed a dance with their faces painted, smoke and music echoing through our garden – it was a pleasure to be part of something like that!’

On 25th November 2014 Helena Knight was awarded the prestigious Paul Harris Award from The Southport Rotary Club for her service to the community, including Yalari.

Denise loves being a part of the Yalari family and all the experiences she has had with the girls. ‘It has opened up a wonderful world for me and my family that we would never have been able to be a part of otherwise.’

Students Finlay Yeeda and Kaite McAdam with Helena and Denise. PAGE 10

When asked what Helena would say to others about her experiences with Yalari she says, ‘Get involved, you will get back so much more than you give. These students are a joy to be around and they will brighten your life. They come with so much potential and it is very rewarding to see them grow. Yalari is an organisation where you see firsthand the results of its amazing work.’

Students Lenka Rivers and Jada Davui with Helena and Denise at the Yalari Brisbane Dinner in September this year.


Internship program with IBA - Indigenous Business Australia, in Brisbane.

work - from the volunteers, to the large corporate sponsors and staff,” she said.

After completing her internship, April successfully gained employment as a Graduate in IBA’s Graduate Program and, as part of the program, Graduates were given the opportunity to develop their experience in a chosen field. For April, she chose to expand her knowledge of working within communities.

April says she values education and says her mother was a big influence as she wasn’t able to get the same education she did.

In August this year Yalari’s Founding Director Waverley Stanley and IBA’S Senior Manager of the Traditional Owners and Sustainability Unit Ken Markwell discussed the opportunity to have April complete a three-month internship with Yalari with a focus on community engagement.

Yalari intern April Atthews.

April Atthews is 21 years old and a local Yugambeh woman from the Gold Coast. After graduating Year 12 at Pacific Pines High School she commenced studying a Bachelor of Commerce - majoring in Accounting and Finance through the Gumurri Student Support Unit at Griffith University. During her uni studies she took the opportunity to complete a CareerTrackers

Since commencing her internship with Yalari in September, April has worked on our parent engagement project, assisted with the event management for Yalari dinners and a corporate breakfast and, she looks forward to working with our Student Support Officers and students in the coming weeks. “Working in the corporate space, learning how not-for-profit organisations obtain and utilise funding is very different. I’m enjoying having greater exposure to the Gold Coast community. Yalari is like a big family - the environment here is relaxed and open, and Yalari values the time and effort people put in to support Yalari’s

“I was the first person in my family to graduate Year 12 and my sister will be graduating Year 12 this year. Education is definitely something I value and is something that I will continue to value and try to influence others to work towards. My mother didn’t finish school, but she was able to influence us to take that opportunity. Parents of Yalari students faced the same situation. I wanted to make my mum proud,” she says. “One of the reasons I came to Yalari is because I received similar opportunities to what Yalari provides for students. It’s important to provide these opportunities in high school, at the early stages similar to Yalari’s Pathways Program, so students can get a headstart on planning for their future.” She said. Following her internship at Yalari, April will go back to her role at IBA to finish the Graduate program and begin a full-time role with a goal of working towards a Senior Management position. “Taking more opportunities opens more doors. I see a future for myself at IBA and hopefully, more Indigenous people in senior roles within the corporate world.”

“Education is something I value and try to influence others to work towards.” On September 11 the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA) proudly presented Yalari with the proceeds of their Yalari fundraising initiatives raised by IPSHA schools throughout Australia. IPSHA provides access to an Australian wide collegial network of independent primary school educators and leaders and Yalari was the not-for-profit organisation IPSHA chose to support during their 2012-2014 fundraising projects. Yalari’s Pathways Manager Matt Plant and Yalari scholar Mahlia Peachey from Abbotsleigh were presented with a cheque for $41,844.25 by Scone Grammar School students Isla Folpp and Hugh Collins. Isla and Hugh, who are in Year 6 and are the Captains at Scone Grammar School, spoke about the opportunity to be involved in supporting Yalari. “Supporting Yalari has been an exciting project for us to be involved in, because we know it will provide educational opportunities for many Indigenous students who live in remote areas who would otherwise miss out,” they said.

From left, Yalari Pathways Manager Matt Plant, Isla Folpp and Hugh Collins from Scone Grammar School, Federal President of IPSHA Sally Ruston and Yalari scholar Mahlia Peachey at the IPSHA Conference Breakfast in September.

Yalari would like to thank Federal President of IPSHA Sally Ruston and the students from Scone Grammar School for their efforts and support in raising funds for Yalari and Indigenous education.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE INDEPENDENT PRIMARY SCHOOL HEADS OF AUSTRALIA (IPSHA) VISIT: WWW.IPSHA.ORG.AU PAGE 11


YALARI’S VISION Yalari is a not-for-profit organisation that offers quality, secondary education scholarships at Australia’s leading boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities. We believe education is the key to generational change and a brighter future, and we are deeply committed to the ongoing success of our national program of scholarships and post-school opportunities. Founded in 2005, Yalari seeks funding from government, corporate and individual benefactors to support Indigenous children’s education. Yalari aims to provide programs which will bring about long-term generational change by giving Indigenous children the opportunity for a first-class education through full boarding scholarships at some of the highest achieving secondary schools in Australia. Yalari, from the Birri Gubba Indigenous Language group, means ‘child’. It is the name Waverley Stanley, as the Founding Director, has been given permission to use by the late Grandfather ‘Blokey’ Wilson. YALARI LIMITED PO BOX 1355 Oxenford QLD 4210

P: 07 5665 8688 F: 07 5665 8611 E: info@yalari.org W: www.yalari.org ABN: 66 113 794 148 ACN: 113 794 14

Yalari is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Pictured are Finlay Yeeda and Grace Stanley from St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast. This was taken one afternoon at Denise Benjamin’s house as they practiced and recorded their dance to present as part of their study of Religion class.

‘Change is the end result of all true learning.’

- LEO BUSCAGLIA

DONATIONS AND SUPPORT YALARI WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING US. TO MAKE A DONATION PLEASE COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW. TO DISCUSS YOUR IDEAS ABOUT HOW YOU COULD HELP YALARI OR TO MAKE A BEQUEST PLEASE CONTACT US ON 07 5665 8688. GIFTS OVER $2 ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

NAME: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ (FIRST NAME) (FAMILY NAME) ADDRESS: ________________________________________________________________________________________

DONATION OPTIONS ARE: $1,000 PER YEAR FOR TEXTBOOKS. $1,000 PER YEAR FOR LAPTOP HIRE.

STATE: ____________ POST CODE: ____________ COMPANY: __________________________________________

$1,500 PER YEAR FOR SCHOOL UNIFORMS.

PHONE: _______________________ EMAIL: ___________________________________________________________

$20,000 PER YEAR FOR BOARDING AND TUITION FEES.

DATE: ________________________ DONATION AMOUNT: ______________________________________________

SURPRISE US!

METHOD OF PAYMENT (TICK ONE) CHEQUE:

Please make cheque payable to Yalari Limited.

CREDIT CARD:

VISA

MASTERCARD

NAME ON CARD: __________________________________________________________________________________ EXPIRY DATE: _________________ CARDHOLDER’S SIGNATURE: ________________________________________

CARD NUMBER: _________________________________________________________ CVV NUMBER: ____________ PAGE 12

WWW.YALARI.ORG

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