Yalari News - June 2021

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Educating Indigenous Children



ISSUE NO. 50 | June 2021



Founding Director | Waverley Stanley AM

Waverley caught up with Yalari alumnus, Danny Alberts, an inaugural Yalari scholarship recipient who started at Toowoomba Grammar School in 2007. He now works as a ranger for the Bunya Peoples’ Aboriginal Corporation.

Resilience, Commitment, Optimism I’m feeling optimistic and excited as the Yalari office is abuzz with organisation as we prepare for the outback camps. Slowly and cautiously, it seems we can get back to (or is it moving forward with?) the activities and fun that we have each year with our students. Ambitious as it is, we will be taking over 70 Year 9 and 10 students, and 15 staff and volunteers, into Central Australia during the June/July holidays. It’s my 29th trip to the heart of Australia and something I look forward to; my spirit feels peace, knowing and calm when I stand on the soil of Anangu country at the base of Uluru. It’s a very special time for our students too, and one of the camps they later mention as being their favourite as lifelong friendships are cemented. This year’s NAIDOC theme of ‘Heal Country’ resonates with me given the work I’ve been doing over these last few months at home, on Tamborine Mountain (Jambreen is the traditional Yugambeh name meaning ‘place where the finger lime grows’). I’ve been involved in cultural back-burning and ‘reading country’ in Gympie, and on the land where some of my ancestors lived and had

ceremony around the trading grounds of the Bunya Mountains. This is where I was so happy to meet up with Danny Alberts, one of our inaugural Yalari scholarship recipients at Toowoomba Grammar School in 2006. He now works as a Ranger for the Bunya Peoples’ Aboriginal Corporation. Further in our newsletter, you’ll hear more stories about our alumni as they make their way in the world following many different paths. Our dinners will be held during August and September giving us the chance to meet up with friends, supporters, volunteers, school staff and our students and alumni. Over the next few months, our team will travel Australia interviewing the little ones and their families who have applied for scholarships in 2022. We will hold our graduation ceremony in September in Canberra and head to the snowfields with our Year 12 class of 2021. We are so very proud of our Yalari mob for their resilience, commitment and optimism, despite the many challenges of the past year. To our students, schools, families, donors, volunteers and staff — thank you.


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.

Copyright © 2021| Yalari Limited. All rights reserved. information in this for general Yalari Limited PO BOX 1355, Oxenford QLDThe 4210 | Ph: 07contained 5665 8688 | newsletter F: 07 5665is 8611 | E: information info@yalari.org purposes and interpretations within are those of thecompany author onlylimited and may reflect those of other ABN: 66 only. 113 The 794opinions 148 ACN: 113 794 148expressed | Yalari is a not-for-profit bynot guarantee. identified parties. Every effort is made to ensure that information is accurate at time of printing.


Danny - 2007

Yalari - Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children

Cover Image: Year 12 students at the Pathways Workshop hosted by Yalari corporate partners, Herbert Smith Freehills

Yalari Newsroom

Indigenous Psychological Services ABORIGINAL MENTAL HEALTH WORKSHOP As part of Yalari’s ongoing commitment to providing superior support to our students, we were honoured to bring together several key staff from Yalari’s partner schools, to attend a workshop hosted by John Paul College. Presented by Dr Tracey Westerman, the Aboriginal Mental Health Assessment training offered participants the opportunity to increase their cultural competency while learning key skills in identifying and assessing trauma, and suicide prevention in Indigenous children. We send a huge thank you to staff from Churchie, Clayfield College, The Southport School, The Glennie School, SCOTS PGC Warwick, John Paul College, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, St Hilda’s, and corporate partner Davidson. We appreciate that you could join us in our efforts to improve cultural awareness and understanding so we may appropriately support our students’ mental health and wellbeing.

SYDNEY MOB CATCH-UP! The Yalari Sydney mob was excited to meet up on ANZAC Sunday to welcome our two new Sydney Student Support Officers, Gyan Ainkaran and Madi Fitzpatrick. Students from all four schools gathered at Waverton for lunch, footy, cards and an opportunity to get together to enjoy the company of other Yalari students from Sydney. Also in attendance were Yalari alumni members: Trey Petterson, Keely Cain and

To gethe r Again!

Monique Laurie.




SYDNEY 20th August




WWW.YALARI .O RG/TICKET S Yalari News - June 2021



Yalari students continue to dream, learn, achieve and succeed! Anna Dingley

Mia Nakata

Year 12 - The Glennie School

Year 7 - John Paul College

Anna competed in The Glennie Gift, an annual contest of the eight Age Champions at the school.

Mia Nakata was chosen to play at half-time at the Brisbane Bullets vs Melbourne basketball game recently as part of the Indigenous Round. Mia dominated and was asked to attend a live interview with the commentators. She was given a signed Brisbane Bullets basketball for her efforts.

Shauna Dhagapan

Demi Green

Year 12 - John Paul College

Year 7 - Abbotsleigh

Shauna’s Open A’s soccer team won the “Team of the Trimester”, awarded to one JPC team that showed work ethic, team work, and resilience.

Demi was awarded the Year 7 boarding house representative. She is now participating in meetings with boarding staff and fellow boarding house representatives to discuss boarding matters and their ideas for weekend rec activities.

Reghan Bayles

She was also selected to complete a one month trial with the New South Wales Institute of Sport on the diving target squad!

Year 11 - Toowoomba Grammar School Reghan received awards for diligence with his studies, selection into A sports teams whilst attending various House and School service events.

Koolee Harbour Year 10 - John Paul College Koolee was selected in the Under 16’s Met East team for Rugby 7’s and will be playing at the State Championships this weekend in Brisbane.

Faith Bin Omar Year 8 - Great Southern Grammar School Faith is Year 9 leader for her house, Mokare. She is also a representative for Great Southern Netball team playing Goal Keeper. Faith also recently attended a leadership program as a GSG representative which included all schools in the area. Jayden Ah Boo and Codi Whap Year 7 - Churchie Jayden and Codi looking like basketball champions after their recent win!


Yalari - Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children

Yalari Newsroom

Darcy and Felicity Hodges Year 7 and Year 11 - SCOTS PGC, Warwick Brother and sister, Darcy and Felicity, recently competed in a local Equestrian competition. Darcy has qualified to compete for the state in the 70 and 80cm jump. Felicity will be joining her brother at the state championships having already qualified for her combination of dressage/60cm jump.

Taj Krishna

Tristan Donnelly

Year 8 - The Southport School

Year 8 - St Ignatius’ College, Riverview

Taj represented the Indigenous boys at ANZAC assembly laying the wreath and addressing the audience.

Tristan was featured on the cover of the May issue if St Ignatius’ College, Riverview publication The Ignatian.

Hayley Green Year 9 - Kambala Hayley played the role of Pugsley in the Kambala Addams Family Musical. On the opening night, cheering her on from the audience were Hayley’s family, SSO Madi and the other Kambala Yalari girls. Hayley was extremely dedicated to the rehearsals for the show, she performed incredibly well and even had a solo!

First Nations Coordinator Mr. Kaleb Taylor is photographed marking Tristan with traditional ochre from the school grounds.

Tate Pyziakos Year 7 - The Southport School Tate made the South Coast School Sports U12 Rugby League Team to compete at state championships in Cairns over the coming holidays.

Yalari News - June 2021


dexo and Yalari: Ex-

oring a Partnership

Playing marbles

with diamonds...

What a great mental picture of Yalari’s Pathways initiatives and our growing alumni. We as Yalari staff catch a glimpse of the treasure that is being multiplied in our scholarship students and the growing number of alumni who are now starting to lead the way forward. There are many opportunities and just as many challenges in the road ahead for the team as they progress Pathways and Alumni initiatives. As an educator, I suggest the most important pathway in a child’s educational journey is the path to school each day. That starts from their first day at school and develops from there. The patterns of habit that develop in educational formation are significant in how people grow and go forward in life. As you know, Yalari supports and very deliberately scaffolds structures along that journey, that develop a quality pattern of habit. In my experience and understanding, that is the major point of difference between Yalari and other similar organisations: the extra care in getting the support right.

The Pathways program and the Pathways team are the next part of the Yalari journey on from the Rosemary Bishop Secondary School Scholarship and the juncture between prolonged initial education (P-12) and the many choices that may be made going forward after Year 12 graduation. The better the initial educational journey and pattern of habits formed and the broader the horizon, the greater the grasp within each graduate and alumni’s career path choice. Which in turn presents the opportunity to be influential in the changes that need to happen across Australia, which for Indigenous peoples is a Nation of many Nations. As the Pathways team operates in seams between what’s now and what’s next, then like a well-tailored garment, the design and quality of such seams or junctures value adds to the quality of the journey and smooth transitions of those young people along their way. The operational shape of activity of the Pathways team involves having contact with all Yalari students. We have planned involvement in Middle

Yalari Pathways Manager, Steve Thomson and Year 12 Yalari scholar and St Hilda’s student Mibigurdoo Yanner.


Yalari - Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children

School with individual student career path ideation, then a more focused approach to career choice and pathway formation in Senior School years. And then it’s onward into life beyond school years as Yalari alumni. So, what then of recent Pathways initiatives and current activities? Pathways now have an APP called Yalari CONNECT. It is designed as a one-stop shop for alumni, as a clubhouse and meeting room, as a jobs board and mentoring hub, and as a way for alumni to stay in touch with each other and with Yalari. Lincoln Whiteley our Pathways Coordinator, himself an alumnus, and Joel Achilles our multimedia coordinator developed the APP which in facility is like a cross between Facebook and LinkedIn. India Brown is busy supporting our growing number of alumni involved with that platform. Other things that are happening include the next phase of Yalari’s Alumni Association and the development of age-specific wellbeing programs for our

Pathways Coordinator, Lincoln Whiteley (back) with Yalari student leaders ahead of the Yalari Orientation Camp.

Yalari Pathways


alumni. In relation to the work of the Alumni Association, a supporter of Yalari—Rural Planning Services (RPS) —have a team of their project managers assisting Pathways staff with pro bono work on structures within that process. The wellbeing programs which were developed by India Brown in her role as Pathways Administration Officer are being fine-tuned by Elizabeth Mahon, who is also a Yalari alumna. Hence the metaphor of playing marbles with diamonds. There is a seam of gold that is being mined by Yalari that will positively impact the future of our nation of Australia, and as a Nation of Nations of our first peoples as we stand together and look forward. Onwards and upwards. Steve Thomson Pathways Manager

The annual Year 12 Pathways Workshop for Yalari students was held in Brisbane at Herbert Smith Freehills Offices on Friday 19th March – Saturday 20th March 2021. The purpose of the workshop is to help students get prepared for life after boarding school. We aim to compliment the great work already being done by our partner schools as we all support our students to achieve their goals. Throughout the weekend students were engaged in workshop sessions and activities that provide development in the following areas: • • •

Cheree Whymann Scotch College, Adelaide

“I am now comfortable

• • • •

enough to write a resume and cover letter.”

Career foundations – resume and cover letter writing sessions Job interview skills and preparedness Goal Setting – Personal and career short-term and long-term goals Post-school university sessions – how to apply for university; how to search for and apply for scholarships; support available from Indigenous Student Support Units Post-school accommodation options Team Building and leadership skills Health, well-being and cultural identity for year 12 and beyond Other post-school options – TAFE; Internships; GAP year; employment

Proudly funded and supported by Herbert Smith Freehills. Braydon Mundy Sydney Church of hool England Grammar Sc l take “A valuable thing I wil ays away from the Pathw to Workshop is the ability be d an go into an interview d my confident in myself an abilities.”

The 2021 Year 12 Pathways Workshop was proudly funded by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). Our sincere thanks and gratitude for supporting our students in their development. As well, a special thank you to the HSF staff members who volunteered their time at the workshop to run sessions and work one-on-one with our students to assist them in developing career skills for post-school.

Yalari News - June 2021


Yalari partner schools embrace National Reconciliation Week! 27 May - 3 June National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconcilation in Australia.

#MoreThanAWord #NRW2021 NATIONAL SORRY DAY Methodist Ladies’ College, Claremont For National Sorry Day, the Early Learning Centre to Year 12 students each decorated a hand which was placed around the Oak Tree on the Great Court. The girls wrote their own messages to acknowledge the mistreatment of the many thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who have been taken away from their families. The Sea of Hands is a symbol of MLC’s commitment to take an active part in building a better future alongside our First Nations Peoples.

RECCY BREKKY John Paul College JPC Community members enjoyed a warm campfire and sausage for the annual Reccy Brekky. It was great to see so many community members come together and reflect on Reconciliation Week. The newest Indigenous students to JPC also planted their own tree in the Indigenous Garden.

HARMONY DAY Clayfield College The Yalari girls at Clayfield took part in Harmony Day and it was lovely to see them join the Pacific Island girls and share their pride with the school. Rusanti, Sulcie and Neveah were proud to perform and sing with the Pacific Island dance group. The other girls ‘painted up’ and walked through the assembly with their flags.

RECONCILIATION WEEK St Hilda’s School Throughout the week, St Hilda’s hosted a series of events at the school including cultural awareness, knowledge building and meeting with local Indigenous communities. Congratulations to Yalari Year 11 scholar, Holly Coffison who delivered a Reconciliation Week speech to her fellow students at the chapel.


Yalari - Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children

Yalari Newsroom

HISTORY, STORY AND CULTURE The Glennie To celebrate the commencement of Reconciliation Week at The Glennie School, our Yalari students joined the other First Nations girls and shared truth, history, story and culture with the Middle and Senior Years in the Chapel Service. The girls spoke about Reconciliation, and the goals and actions they are to take to further develop the school’s Reconciliation Action Plan and enhance their cultural understanding and awareness.

KICKING GOALS Scotch College, Adelaide “My name is Cheree Whyman and I am a proud Paakintji woman from Wilcannia NSW. I am in my 5th year at Boarding school now in Adelaide. This year I decided to paint my football boots for the Indigenous round. My school’s football gear is yellow and blue. All the different dots represent the different girls in my team all at different locations in which we play. The blue stripe represents the blue colour we have for our school uniforms. I’m so proud I played my game tonight and kicked two goals representing all my Indigenous brothers and sisters. Happy Reconciliation Week to all!”

MORE THAN A WORD St Ignatius’ College, Riverview “We must start the process of healing because history shows us there is no relationship to go back to” said Mr Kaleb Taylor, First Nations Co-ordinator, when asked about Reconciliation Week’s theme for 2021: ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action.’ There are nearly 30 First Nations students at the College, which is situated on the boundaries of Cammeraigal country. These students, who come from all over Australia and the Torres Strait, contribute so much to the richness of our diverse cultural fabric at Riverview.

STUDENTS COMMITTED TO ACTION St Peter’s College, Adelaide As part of National Reconciliation Week, Dom Barry spoke at the Muster about how to take action towards reconciliation. In Dom’s words, “ … every day is an opportunity to action purposeful steps to work with our First Nations people so we can create balance.” The Student Reconciliation Committee presented a piece of student artwork as a pledge to symbolise the coming together of our community to uphold our commitment to Indigenous Reconciliation. The white centre is symbolic of our School as a meeting place and is surrounded by over 500 fingerprints representing our students’ commitment to initiate action as part of this important journey.

Yalari News - June 2021


Community Culture Yalari boys thrive at The Southport School

Back (L to R): Luke Tennant, Jay Campbell, Xavier Stanley, Mr Andrew Hawkins. Front: (L to R): Eli Pyziakos, Taj Krasna, Tate Pyziakos.

The Southport School (TSS) has a long and proud history with Yalari which spans over a decade. We are fortunate that Yalari has provided the opportunity for Indigenous young men to be part of our community, and our story, since 2009. From this time, we have seen 11 Yalari students graduate from the school and today, we proudly have 7 young Yalari men thriving in, and impacting on, the TSS community. Our newly appointed Headmaster, Andrew Hawkins, is initiating further support for our Indigenous students with the employment of the school’s first Indigenous Liaison Officer, Mr Cameron Lestro. Yalari’s involvement with the school has allowed our Indigenous Liaison to learn from Yalari staff, allowing the school to better support the whole Indigenous community at TSS. TSS has a wide range of students from different locations, backgrounds and abilities, and this is no different for our Yalari students. We are blessed to have Yalari students from all over Australia: from as far as Moranbah in Queensland, and as wide as Darwin in the Northern Territory. The school strives to support and encourage all students to reach their academic potential, whatever their ability. Jay Campbell (Year 10) recognises this and said that “teachers are always willing to give me a hand when


Yalari - Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children

I’m having trouble with anything in class.” This coincides with the school’s high expectations of students, as Eli Pyziakos (Year 8) has already identified. “The workload can be challenging but it means I can grow and become more independent.” The school is very proud of the Yalari students and their efforts, as they rise to the occasion when challenged in their academic work and assessment. Yalari students at the school are very proud of the rich history and culture the school provides. The concept of a Band of Brothers is at the core of this culture and values, stemming from the school’s old boys who made the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars. The boys love this sense of comradery which is fostered within the boarding houses, house shield, GPS sport and other extracurricular activities. Within the boarding houses Xavier Stanley (Year 8) said, “it’s like having a sleepover with all my mates all the time!” but he also said that missing his home and family can be challenging at times. Luke Tennant (Year 10) is one of our better Rugby players at the school but also said, “it’s great to be able to play a lot of the other sports with my mates as well like tennis, rowing and cricket. I would never play these sports if I didn’t come to TSS.” Jay also loves the way the school

Partner Schools



Educating Indigenous Children


Dreaming, believing inspiring and achieving

Working together since 2009 to educate and empower Indigenous children


Current Yalari Scholars


New students in 2021

THE SOUTHPORT SCHOOL Located on the Gold Coast, The Southport School is an Anglican day and boarding school for boys from Preschool (Kindergarten) to Year 12 with boarding available from Year 7. TSS provides a balanced and holistic programs

(L to R): Jordan Swan, Logan Taylor, Buddy Stanley, Jabreeni Fogarty, Mr Karel Bros, Headmaster Alan Parsons (2010)

2009 Partnership formed


Yalari Alumni



with of






co-curricular and a low studentto-staff ratio.

For well over a century TSS has made a positive impact on society by guiding, nurturing and shaping the character of boys as they mature into young men, and leaving an indelible imprint that serves to sustain them on life’s journey.

(Back L to R): Jabreeni Fogarty, Jordan Swan, Ratu Davui, Liam Longbottom (Middle): Chris Whap, Buddy Stanley (Front): Keriba Bligh, Geoffrey Swan, Logan Taylor (2014)

is passionate about the GPS competition, “It’s such an awesome day when you win a game of rugby and then go and lose your voice doing war cries and cheering on our Firsts Rugby team.” With the installment of our first Indigenous Liaison officer at the school, the Yalari students (along with our other Indigenous students) are pioneering the Banam Bowai (Yugumbeh, Younger Brother Shark) Program which is empowering them to bring the beauty and strength of their culture to become part of the wider school community. At the moment the Yalari students are learning the didgeridoo so they can perform at school ceremonies. They are also engaging in an art project that we hope will become the first Indigenous tie in the school’s history. Tate Pyziakos (Year 7) said that the Banam Bowai Program “has allowed me to embrace my culture and history.” The Southport School is very proud to partner with Yalari, a great organisation that helps support our young Indigenous men to reach their full potential. The students that Yalari brings are loved by the whole school and they contribute in a number of significant ways. Thank you to Yalari, their supporters and Waverley Stanley AM. It is truly a privilege and an honour to have these young men at our school and to see the strength and potential in each one of them realised. Cameron Lestro Indigenous Liaison Officer

Alumni Update KIIRA BLIGH (2020) Kiirra commenced his degree in construction management and quality surveying at Bond University in May. He has lined up a job working within a constuction firm on his uni-free days.

BUDDY STANLEY (2015) In Kinagory (Qld) and the surrounding region, Buddy has been working with children in residential foster homes.

GEOFFREY SWAN (2018) After school, Geoff took a gap year, moved home and then returned to the Gold Coast in 2020. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Business at Griffith University. Yalari News - June 2021


Catching up

with our inspiring alumni...

Ryan O’Callaghan

Class of 2018 | St Peter’s College, Adelaide

‘Werte’ from the Central Desert. My name is Ryan O’Callaghan. I’m a Luritja, Arrernte and Warramungu man from Alice Springs and graduated from St Peter’s College Adelaide in 2018. With university study having been online this year, I’ve been spending the last few months back home between Garrmalang (Darwin) and Mparntwe (Alice Springs) taking in the beautiful country and visiting family. Back in Melbourne, I’ve been working hard as a student planner with VicGov and am aiming to move into a planning role once I graduate from university later this year. Likewise, back in Alice it’s a great time of year to be up here with events such as the Parrtjima Festival being a highlight. With the past 12 months being as unconventional as they have, I’m incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to reconnect with the people and places that mean the most to me!”

Zarleigh Jones Class of 2014 | Calrossy Anglican School

Since finishing high school, I have moved to the Gold Coast to attend university. I graduated from Bond with a Bachelor of Psychological science in February and since then I have found full time work in the social and youth sector!”

Michelle Berrigan

Class of 2016 | Great Southern Grammar School

My name is Michelle. I am a Noongar woman from Katanning, WA. I completed my senior schooling at Great Southern Grammar in Albany on a Yalari Scholarship. I really enjoyed my time at GSG and graduated in 2016. Since leaving school I have been working and am currently employed in the livestock industry. In September 2020, I had my first child via emergency C-section at 31 weeks. I think the resilience and experience of living away from family while at boarding school, really helped me to get through the six-week stay in NICU and special care. My son also had two surgeries since coming home, all during COVID-19 and while being four hours from home. During this time no family (other than myself and my partner Erik) were able to physically see or touch our son due to the restrictions. Being part of Yalari has helped me grow and I think the Yalari program is instrumental in helping children who might otherwise miss out on educational opportunities. There are young Indigenous leaders out there who can, and will, do amazing things for Australia and their communities.


Yalari - Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children

Yalari Alumni

Yalari Alumni Leading, Connecting, Giving

Kayla Baker Peris Class of 2018 | Kambala

I’m from Darwin, but my mob are Yolngu from Northeast Arnhem, and Kija & Yaru from North East Kimberleys. In 2018, I graduated from Kambala in Rosebay Sydney, after starting in Year 7 back in 2013. Currently, I’m working at TEABBA Radio, which stands for Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association, where I am a Radio Broadcaster with my CERT III in Screen and Media. I am also undertaking a Cert IV in Training and Assessment so that my work can send me to the communities to train remote Indigenous broadcasters. At the moment I am preparing for the dry season with a lot of outdoor broadcasts such as the NIMAs (National Indigenous Music Awards) where we broadcast live on the night every year. I am also going to be the Technical Producer at an AFL Game here in the NT for the Gold Coast Suns and the Hawthorn Hawks. Another project I am working on, as the Assistant Executive Producer, is a war-time documentary set around the bombing of Darwin and the story of a Tiwi man and a Japanese soldier. Getting the opportunity to attend a school like Kambala would have never been on the cards for me, so the Yalari scholarship opened those doors and gave me the opportunity to reach my potential. I also picked up the skills that I use in my everyday work; Yalari camps and network dinners made it easy for me to talk to different people of varying backgrounds, which is a very important part of my job as a broadcaster. Going to school in Sydney, I had to become independent. This helped me rely on myself and work for what I want, rather than expecting it from others. It’s really built my resilience which has helped me thrive in the real world. Any child who receives a Yalari Scholarship will benefit in the long run and be grateful for the opportunities and doors that it will open for them in the future.

Norah Hegedus

Class of 2020 | St Hilda’s School

My Name is Norah Hegedus from Grafton within the Clarence Valley region of NSW, and my family are from both the Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr people. In 2015, I moved interstate to the Gold Coast attending St Hilda’s school as a boarder under the Yalari program. After completing high school in 2020, I was given early entrance into my first preference to study a Bachelor of Public Health and Professional Communications at the Queensland University of Technology. In addition to studying at university, I was successful in employment at TAFE Queensland working as an admin in charge of programs, such as Photography, Music and Fine Arts. Recently, I have won a position within the Commonwealth Health Department under the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program. After completing my current studies, I wish to move into studying a Master of Epidemiology at the University of Queensland to pursue a career within public health across Australia. I often think about how different my life would be if it wasn’t for Yalari. Like every 11-year-old, in the beginning I was scared and didn’t want to leave my home, but looking back it was the best decision that could have been made. The opportunity to attend a school such as St Hilda’s opened my eyes to a new environment, different from the one you would find in a small town. I began to care about the importance of education and the experience showed me how I could achieve a career in any field I wanted, as long as I was willing to put in the effort. I owe everything I have achieved within and outside of school to Yalari, my sponsors (The Langports Foundation) and everyone who supports Yalari. I have experienced first-hand the change Yalari has created within my community of Grafton, with my little cousins asking me to help them apply and showing them there’s no “shame” in wanting to learn at school. Programs such as Yalari also benefit the schools, creating a link between two communities which break down social stereotypes towards Indigenous people.

Yalari News - June 2021


Yalari Volunteers

National volunteer week is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. Thank you to all volunteers for the vital role you play each and every day, and for making our communities stronger, especially during times of need, crisis or isolation.

A shout-out to all our wonderful Yalari volunteers for making a difference in the lives of Indigenous children and our Australian community.

Rob McConnel “While we all have day jobs, it is how we choose how to spend our discretionary time that will make a real impact. The work Yalari does is truly outstanding and exciting as it talks to a better future for all. It is a real pleasure knowing that time committed is helping make a difference.”

Tatsuki Shiratsuchi “I have been blessed with extremely wonderful people around me throughout my life, and seeing the small difference I can make to the Yalari students and the organisation more generally, makes


(L to R): Trish, Tatsuki, Ted, Rob, Tim and Lou Not pictured: Miranda, Brad, Pedro, Clare, Taneale, John, Janet, Marianne, Ryan

Ryan Webster

me feel like I can pay-it-forward and give something back. Seeing the students grow from shy and nervous Year 7s to confident, accomplished Year 12s is something that inspires me to do as much as I can to help others.”

“I heard about Yalari when I joined Davidson. With my contract, I received some information about donating to Yalari through workplace giving. In the last three years, I have been lucky to meet and work with alumni as well as get more of an idea of the work Yalari does. It is the people who motive me; the passion and energy that everyone associated with Yalari has, is infectious.”


(L to R) Tegan, Alex, Steph, Sue and Julie Not pictured: Edwina, Grant, Danielle, Primrose

Julie Sidery-Wood


Jaz David de Busch (Yalari alumna - 2015) “For me, Yalari is and has always been about empowering our young people to walk proudly through life. What I have always loved about Yalari is that we are a family, we are a community, one mob, and no matter the challenges, we stick together. I’m proud to be part of that.“


Yalari - Educating and Empowering Indigenous Children

“A few years back at one of the early Sydney Dinners, I heard Waverley speak about the Yalari story and how educational opportunity had changed his life. It was both moving and inspiring, but as a busy mum of three kids, I didn’t think I had the time to get involved. With my kids now all through school, and studying at university (law, international studies and nursing), I’ve had the opportunity to join the Sydney Dinner Committee. I have found it to be a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous children who have not had the same opportunities as my own kids. I only wish I’d done it sooner. Yalari is now 16 years old, with close to 400 alumni, and I feel proud to be contributing to that legacy.”

Partners, Donors and Sponsors

AWARENESS BRACELET PARTNERSHIP Francesca is the on-trend designer jewellery label by sisters Hannah & Rachel Vasicek. Founded on the belief that success means nothing unless you give back, Francesa want to empower people worldwide to live the life they love. As a part of this commitment, they partner with charities each month and annually to raise awareness and funds to support causes close to their heart.

“Success means nothing unless you’re giving back.” For the month of July, Francesa are proudly supporting Yalari by releasing an Awareness Bracelet. The bracelet is made from semi precious stone, Rhodonite, in either sterling silver or yellow & rose gold, and is handmade by their team of beaders in their Hobart studio. The Awareness Bracelet is retailed at $59 in sterling silver and $79 in yellow & rose gold.

Head to www.francesca.com.au/collections/giving-back

Throughout July, $20 from every purchase will be

during July to secure your handcrafted bracelet in support

donated to Yalari.

of Indigenous education in Australia.

Your chance to WIN an original


Valued at $6500

To celebrate NAIDOC 2021, Yalari is partnering with Inside Out Magazine to give you the chance to win an original painting from one of Australia’s most prominent emerging talents, Indigenous artist Thea Perkins. All proceeds raised from the raffle will go towards Yalari’s goal to educate and empower Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities throughout Australia.

TICKETS ON SALE FROM 4TH JULY 2021 www.rafflelink.com.au/yalariartraffle

INDIGENOUS ROUND FOR YALARI STUDENTS Thank you to long-term Yalari supporters, Babcock, for treating Adelaide’s Yalari students to the Port Adelaide vs Freemantle AFL game in the Sir Doug Nicholls Round. This round celebrates Indigenous culture and the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Australian Rules Football and our broader society. The students were stoked to be attending the match in recognition of Reconciliation Week.


#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 - June 2021


Educating Indigenous Children


The most important thing you will do today I greatly appreciate that I am here at John Paul College. I know I will get so many opportunities and I will be able to achieve many things. So I want to say a big thank you — in my language we say, ‘Au Esso’. Possa Drummond is a Year 7 student at John Paul College. She is a Dauareb (da-war-reb) young woman from Thursday Island in Queensland.

Your tax time donation will create brighter futures for Indigenous children. You’ve helped us achieve great things. Because of your friendship and support, Indigenous children are having the opportunity to dream, learn, achieve and succeed through their education. Thank you so much! But we cannot stop now! That’s because there are still so many Indigenous children in need of your support — to receive a good education and be the best they can be.

Donate now at www.yalariappeal.funraise.org JUN21YALANEWS