Issue 37 | September 2017
Educating Indigenous Children
E D U C AT I N G A N D E M P O W E R I N G I N D I G E N O U S C H I L D R E N
St Peter’s Adelaide students With Waverley (L to R): Scott Taat, Adan Taat, Lahkai Councillor, Ryan O’Callaghan and Calvin Hunter
FOUNDING DIRECTOR Educating Indigenous Children
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. Our mission is to educate and empower Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities to bring about generational change.
This is always a very exciting and busy time of the year. We have our Year 12 graduation celebration, our Melbourne Fundraising Dinner, preparations for our Brisbane and Adelaide Dinners, our Commemorative Walk to Cherbourg, and in amongst all of these key events the Yalari team is still crisscrossing the country interviewing our applicants for 2018 scholarships.
Our vision is to provide trusted, quality educational opportunities for Indigenous children to achieve positive outcomes for themselves and their families and make valuable contributions as Australians. Core Values: Respect, Compassion, Resilience, Openness, Inclusiveness.
www.yalari.org YALARI LIMITED PO BOX 1355 Oxenford QLD 4210 P: 07 5665 8688 F: 07 5665 8611 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.yalari.org ABN: 66 113 794 148 ACN: 113 794 148 Yalari is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Copyright © 2017 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.
Cover Image: John Paul College Year 9 student, Haley Hunt
I never tire of meeting the new families and children who are so optimistic and enthusiastic about the opportunity to receive a very good education at one of our partner boarding schools. Sure, there’s anxiousness and uncertainty too but mostly, at this stage, there’s huge hope and excitement that fills the air of the communities and homes right across the country. ‘How’s our little fella going?’ This was one of the last things my friend Geoff Jakins asked me before he passed away recently after a long battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Such was the dignified, selfless and courageous
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manner Geoff managed his disease, with the enormous and loving support of his parents, Brian and Beris, his wife Michelle, son Jack, and a bunch of rowdy old friends from Toowoomba Grammar School (TGS). Geoff, along with many of our other mates from the TGS ‘Class of 84’, join me in sponsoring Yalari scholar Jermaine, who is in Year 7 at TGS. I celebrated my 50th birthday in June, out in Anangu country, waking up in my swag- with an icy frost on my hair. Like many of my mates who also turned 50 this year, it gives you the chance to reflect on your life. What have I done? What’s left to do? What am I proud of? What do I regret? Who should I thank? Who should I forgive? Who do I love? Who should I say sorry to? How do I want to be remembered? What have I contributed to? Have I made the world a better place today and have I left a legacy for tomorrow? With complete humility and honesty I can say that with Geoff and the rest of my TGS Class of ’84 we are making the world a better place today; and with everyone who is involved in helping Yalari in their own unique way, we are leaving a legacy for tomorrow. I feel with gratitude and courage, you can achieve anything. Waverley Stanley Founding Director
MORETON BAY COLLEGE
We greatly appreciate the continued support of the students at Moreton Bay College (MBC). MBC has been supporting Yalari since 2009, initially with the ‘Cool Clothes’ program and in the past few years as a beneficiary of fundraising events.
Upcoming Yalari events and student activities.
Through the work conducted across MBC, students are equipped to become active and informed citizens, and gain a greater awareness of the world around them. This work also emphasises the importance of ‘giving back’ to their community.
Yalari Brisbane Fundraising Dinner
“We really value the opportunity to help provide Indigenous Australians with a quality education and to play a role in shaping a bright future for these young men and women. Yalari’s goal of allowing the students to realise their potential resonates very strongly with us,” said Joe Hodges, a teacher at MBC.
Yalari Adelaide Fundraising Dinner
Yalari Head Office closes for Christmas break
To support Yalari this year, Alison Greene (one of four school-houses) held a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in the College Quad. As part of the day, members of their community were asked to don their craziest socks, hats and ties for a gold coin donation. In addition to this, students from Alison Greene donated baked goods, chocolate, drinks, ice cream and lollies for our College-wide celebration. We were also very fortunate to have local businesses donate a number of prizes for our raffle.
Thank you so much! It is wonderful that the young ladies from MBC have nominated Yalari as their fundraising beneficiary again for 2017.
Educating Indigenous Children
We hope you can join us for an emotive and inspiring Yalari evening.
Thursday 26 October 2017 | 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start
Friday 10 November 2017 | 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Cnr Merivale and Glenelg Streets South Bank, Brisbane
National Wine Centre of Australia Hackney Rd & Botanic Rd, Adelaide
Dress - Lounge/Cocktail | RSVP - 12 October 2017
Dress - Lounge/Cocktail | RSVP - 27 October 2017
Yalari Head Office Reopens 2019 Scholarship Applications Open
We are very proud of Yalari scholar Shahleena Martin, Year 10 student at Scotch College Adelaide, who has won the Champagne Award for most sparkling student at the GAIL convention in Pretoria, South Africa. Pictured here with former Principal of Scotch College Adelaide and former Yalari board member, Tim Oughton and his wife Heather.
Positive future change starts with the actions we take today (07) have 5665 8688a story | www.yalari.org Do you you would like to share?
If you would like to submit a story, provide feedback, share some photos or have any questions regarding our publication, please contact Alison MacKenzie - email@example.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! We will keep you up-to-date on everything that’s happening within the Yalari community! Yalari Quarterly Newsletter - September 2017 • www.yalari.org • 3
STUDENT UPDATES and Achievements!
Yalari scholars continue to work hard, dream big... and achieve!
Scotch College Adelaide Year 9 student, Cheyanne and her highland dance group have qualified for an international competition to be held in Europe.
Awarded Year 7 Boarder Representative at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School.
Lachlan Toovey Year 10 Churchie student, Lachlan received an academic recognition for his GPA improvement.
The Glennie School Year 7 student, Shakita has been demonstrating leadership through her diligence and commitment to her school work. She also volunteered to tour the Glennie ‘Old Girls’ around the school as part of Founders’ Day celebrations.
Year 10 Churchie student, Toby played for the Under 15 Met East side at the State Titles in Townsville.
Lahkai Councillor and Scott Taat Year 7 students at St Peter’s College, Adelaide. Lahkai (left) received the ‘Most Courageous Award’ and Scott (right) was awarded the ‘Most Improved’ for Intercol Football.
Jaimee Ladyman, Alkira Miller, Tramaine Laterre, Renekka Narkle, Lakotta Miller
Rhiannon Revell-Blair Year 11 St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School student and rugby sevens superstar, Rhiannon has been selected to play in the Queensland Reds and will be competing in Japan during September.
The senior Yalari students at Great Southern Grammar School Albany have assumed significant roles within the school community by reading, and listening to junior students, making and serving breakfast on the designated ‘Walk to School’ day, and in their Yalari ‘Pay It Forward’ sausage sizzle where they catered for 400 students and staff!
Rhiannon trains six days a week, morning and night, while juggling her studies at St Margaret’s.
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Year 10 Scotch College Adelaide student, Grace volunteers at a childcare centre in Darwin during the school holidays and is completing her Certificate III in Childcare.
We are all in this together! Thank you to Yalari parent, Rebecca Sariago for her kind words, support and advice to other Yalari parents.
Chenelle Nona-Yellub Part of The Glennie School ‘Under 13’ All Schools Touch Team that won the South West All Schools Carnival.
Part of The Glennie School ‘Under 13’ All Schools Touch Team that won the South West All Schools Carnival.
Year 8 St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School student, Jemmah has been selected in the Metro North Rugby U14/15 rep team.
The Glennie School Year 7 student, Kiana has been selected into the Darling Downs Rugby League team to compete at the State Titles later in the term. Kiana also volunteered to tour the Glennie ‘Old Girls’ around the school as part of Founders’ Day celebrations.
Year 8 student at Great Southern Grammar School has been selected in the Great Southern Regional Netball Squad. She will train and then play in a state-wide competition in Perth next year.
Beau Kendall Scots PGC Warwick Year 8 student, Beau played for the Under 15 Darling Downs side at the State Titles in Townsville.
INDIGENOUS UNI GAMES
Congratulations to our Yalari Alumni from many different universities around Australia who competed in four days of competition at the 2017 Indigenous Uni Games held in Geelong!
Hello Waverley, Llew, Karen and the amazing team at Yalari... I want to firstly extend my absolute gratitude for all that you do for our children and the relationship you work hard to forge with parents, schools, students and other stakeholders for the greater education of our Indigenous children and their future opportunities. I couldn’t be more grateful. I have to say my recent trip to Geelong and being able to attend the Yalari dinner has been a phenomenal experience and one I will cherish. I would implore all new parents to attend a dinner and gain a greater understanding of this journey. Also, understanding the greater involvement of other agencies and fellow educators/ supporters who were so welcoming at the dinner. Thank you for being patient with me through this new challenge and journey and helping me to reach the bigger picture of educating our children. Watching the journey of education and resilience unfold for our children to be contributing adults, forging forward and making real changes and being significant role models to truly bridge any gaps in education and society. The experience of attending the Yalari dinner and hearing the Year 11 and 12 students recap their journey: from worry, homesickness, getting lost, crying on the phone and late with homework; to now graduating and feeling empowered having great depth in the layers of change they have each experienced and grown through. I loved being able to speak with the parents who have also been on the end of the phone in those early years and now, with tears in their eyes, as they see their once Year 7 child now a graduating young adult, addressing a room of professionals with confidence, poise and humble gratitude and speaking of their early experience with humour. Listening with heart to MC Shauna’s experiences and her strength and confidence - through the challenges knowing the life experienced thus far and moving forward a true life journey and the future experiences to come. I had the opportunity to meet with Charlie Scudamore [VicePrincipal at Geelong Grammar School] and I am abundantly grateful for this relationship; one based on openness and support to achieve a greater outcome. After this experience all my parental worries and concerns have dissipated. Meeting with you all has been beautiful and I feel filled with warmth and joy. I am enjoying watching this journey unfold for Marlley, her peers and the rest of the Yalari alumni. Thank you for your passion with Yalari and for having this opportunity to grow our next generations.
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YALARI STUDENT SUPPORT PROGRAM
connected by culture Sandy Shaw, CEO of Newsboys Foundation and valued Yalari supporter shares her experience of attending the 2017 Yalari Outback Camp. In June this year, I went on the Yalari Outback Camp through Central Australia. Sixteen Yalari Year 9 girls from all over Australia attended the camp along with camp leader Gary O’Brien, Waverley Stanley, Llew Mullins, Mara Vucak and Antonia Burke. We started in Alice Springs and toured through Palm Valley, Hermannsburg, Ormiston Gorge, Kings Creek Station and finished at Uluru – the spiritual heartland of Australia. We all slept in swags under the stars. It was a fantastic opportunity to spend time with the girls and the Yalari crew and gain greater insights into their lives. The girls had a wonderful time and formed very strong friendships and bonds with each other throughout the trip. I am sure these bonds will serve the girls well as they complete their secondary education. Being on country and travelling through Central Australia was a very special experience. There was a lot of cultural education including visiting remote communities. The girls were responsible for preparing the meals and they did a fantastic job! Each night after dinner, we shared stories with each other around the camp fire and reflected upon our journey. 6 • Yalari Quarterly Newsletter - September 2017 • www.yalari.org
The girls also kept a journal each day and had time for their own quiet reflection. During the trip, there were no screens or Jaycee Sellings and Sandy Shaw devices. The girls’ phones were safely packed up in a secure box and returned to them at the end of the trip. Many of the girls talked about how liberating it was to be phone free and disconnected from technology. Throughout the week long journey, we were connected by time, place and real experiences. We were connected by culture and community. Wonderful conversations occurred. Important cultural sites were visited. Memories and friendships were made and there were lots of laughs. As you can imagine, Waverley’s legendary giggle always got us laughing! Through the camp and other Yalari experiences, I have seen high aspirations for Indigenous young people; a true, long term vision for strong leadership for our country, positive relationships formed and nurtured and Indigenous young people being supported through thick and thin to realise their full potential.
2009 Yalari Outback Camp
‘After eight years between camps I was so excited to be back in the Red Centre of Australia with our Year 9 girls and a bunch of staff and friends who made the trip truly wonderful. Organisation of the camp has certainly stepped up from 2009 (when we loaded kids, food, swags, tents, clothes and red dirt into a couple of trailers) to 2017, where we have a designated ‘Chuck Wagon’ for the food (thanks to Colin Rodin’s generosity), our names on each of our swags, labelled tupperware containers, a considerable sized first aid kit, CB radios between the cars, AND no mobiles for five days as they are locked away in a safe. However, the fun and connection the girls had was the same as any other year. I don’t know whether it’s their age, camping, the excessive amounts of chocolate, being stuck in 4WDs for hours on end or the spiritual heart of Australia, but it bonds the students together like no other experience they have in Yalari. Alumni still talk about the Central Australia Camp and how their best friends in life are the friends they made on that trip.’ Llew Mullins - Managing Director, Yalari
I have also seen Yalari’s values of respect, compassion, resilience, openness and inclusiveness practiced every day. Yalari also continually reinforces the importance of family, community, culture, education, working hard, doing your best and looking after others. I am pleased to tell you that as a result of Yalari, we are seeing positive and sustained change: one student, one school, one community at a time. It is inspiring to see so many students, Indigenous communities and school communities together with supporters, taking up the challenge and becoming involved with Yalari to ensure Indigenous young people receive a quality education. In addition, opportunities are being provided for us all to learn from each other. And importantly, to learn more about Indigenous culture and the heritage of this great land. I believe that Yalari is a leading light and is playing an important role in closing the gap between Indigenous and nonIndigenous Australia. It is creating generational change and strong leadership for our country.
It is one of the greatest reconciliation initiatives that I have had the privilege of being involved with during my 30 year career in community service.
Sandy Shaw and the Newsboys Foundation have been supporting Yalari since 2007 and currently sponsor Geelong Grammar School Year 9 student, Jaycee Sellings. Thank you for your trust in Yalari and your belief that education will help bring about generational change for Indigenous children. Thank you Sandy for your fun, enthusiasm and commitment to the Yalari children. We also thank our other Outback Camp volunteers, Mara Vucak and Antonia Burke for generously giving up their time to help the girls throughout the camp.
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“It is enduring and transforming...” We recently caught up with Finance Director at Commercial Eyes, Melissa Sampson-Curry, who is a passionate promoter of the company’s Community Engagement Program which has contributed to a number of local and international charities over the years, including Yalari.
Commercial Eyes currently sponsor Year 7 Geelong Grammar School student, Cassandra Peris.
Melissa Sampson-Curry (front) with Yalari Scholar Cassandra Peris (front-right) and the Commercial Eyes Team
Tell us a bit about Commercial Eyes.
How did you first learn about Yalari?
Commercial Eyes was established by Andrew Carter in 2001. Andrew’s motivation came from a desire to ensure that medicines and medical technology were made available (commercialised) for patients in Australia; the adventure of starting a business and building a company that is excellent at what it does, is highly regarded by employees, contractors and customers alike and in particular, a company that valued what each person brought to the business, independent of their gender or full-time status (i.e. parttime/full time).
We engaged a consultant who specialised in social responsibility to provide recommendations of organisations that we could support that brought together Indigenous people and one or both of education and health initiatives/programs. Yalari was one of the recommendations which immediately resonated for us as a supporter - the program, it’s vision, mission and values.
Commercial Eyes made an early commitment to provide ongoing financial support to the community in which we work via our annual donation program. We have seen how this derivation of our team’s hard work contributes to the pride they take in their work, as well as their overall job satisfaction. 8 • Yalari Quarterly Newsletter - September 2017 • www.yalari.org
Why Yalari? Our commitment to Yalari’s stated purpose, Waverley’s vision and passion, the opportunity to support young Indigenous people and make a sustainable difference, with an easy to understand sponsorship package.
T HANK YOU...
Yalari’s partners and donors make a tangible difference in Australia by helping create positive, sustainable change for Indigenous children through the gift of education.
pson-Curry m a S sa is el M & e n Jodene Garsto Geelong Grammar School student, Jodene Garstone, was sponsored by Commercial Eyes from 2011 until her graduation in 2016. Jodene is currently studying a Bachelor of Political Science at Australian National University, Canberra after being awarded an IT Newcom bursary for the duration of her degree. She recently showed her support for the 2017 Yalari graduating class by attending the Graduation Ceremony and ski weekend in Canberra.
Rona is a Yalari alumna who was supported by Commercial Eyes from 2010-2011. Last year, she graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Commerce and is currently working on projects with the Foundation for Young Australians, in particular a project named ‘Common Ground’. Common Ground is a digital platform that shares Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, history and lived experiences with Australia. Their aim is to help bridge gaps in knowledge and build a united Australia where we embrace and celebrate our First Australians. As Founder, Rona has been working part-time on the project for the past nine months and is looking at launching the platform in October. She is excited to keep everyone at Yalari in the loop as they move closer to launch!
We are deeply grateful for the generosity shown to Yalari by the community and we sincerely thank you. If you would like to find out about the many ways you can support Yalari and contribute to the education and empowerment of the next generation of young Indigenous Australians, please contact our Fundraising Manager, Jenni Heenan on (07) 5665 8688.
Rona is also cycling from Melbourne to Sydney during September to fundraise for cancer research. Well done and good luck Rona!
Jodene Garstone, Tye Bedford & Waverley Stanley
What words of advice would you give to a potential Yalari child sponsor? Yalari’s type of sponsorship is clearly an investment in people. It is enduring and transforming and will enable generational change. It is partnering rather than transactional and consequentially has deeper meaning and consequence.
It’s with great pride we’ve been given a glimpse of the development, and longer-term achievements, of the students we have supported. The opportunity to attend the 2016 Graduation ceremony in Canberra with our graduating student and the Yalari Melbourne dinners have been inspirational moments for us, to see and meet some of the wonderful and impressive young Yalari students.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Yalari sponsorship provides a natural opportunity to talk about the outcomes it produces rather than the giving itself. Our staff are very engaged in the stories of the Yalari students and we greatly admire Waverley, Llew and the Yalari teams’ passion and drive that provides the outstanding educational opportunities for young Indigenous people.
Educating Indigenous Children
Proudly partnering since 2009 to educate and empower Indigenous children.
Yalari Quarterly Newsletter - September 2017 • www.yalari.org • 9
Empowering their future Aidan Finn, Darcy Pal
mer, Troy Brown, Mr
Over 400 guests gathered at Leonda By The Yarra, Hawthorn to enjoy a night of Yalari inspiration and story-telling
26 Yalari scholars attended and participated in the official program
Guests raised over $100,000 in donations on the night
Cassandra Peris, Marlley McNamara & Thalia See
(GGS Vice Principal)
& Clay Schafer
Yalari alumna & MC Shauna Sandow Michael Naphtali, Kayla
EVENT HIGHLIGHTS •
Harrison & Atida Naphta
2017 MELBOURNE DINNER Thursday, 17 August 2017
Zanna Palmer, Cyril Rioli & Klaudia Farnham
Aaliyah Blackaby, Amber Harrison & Kirsty Hunter
Yalari alumna Taylah Cubillo & Waverley Stanley
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Murrundindi with Yalari students
Yalari alumna Jaz David
d De Busch
Koby Sellings, Lakeycha Farnham & John Baxter Vicki Hanman, William Isley, Kayla Jackson, Richard Oliver & Yalari alumna Amelia Mitchell
Thank You Yalari gratefully acknowledges the dedication of everyone who has contributed to our 2017 Melbourne Dinner. Thank you to the volunteers, speakers and entertainers, the Melbourne Dinner Committee, event partners, corporate tables, and those who generously donated prizes for our auctions and raffles.
Dinner Committee members Lucy Fortey & Toni Reid Jasmine Glass & Llew Mullins
YALARI MELBOURNE DINNER STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS The Yalari dinners offer the perfect opportunity to share in the successes of our students. Presented by Heather Douglas, Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, the Victorian Junior Resilience Award was presented to Eli Gillon from Geelong Grammar School for demonstrating the qualities of strength, courage and an enduring spirit. Koby Sellings, also from Geelong Grammar School, was presented with the Victorian Leadership Award for demonstrating the qualities of commitment, strength of character, integrity and inspiration. Congratulations Eli and Koby.
Koby Sellings Yalari Quarterly Newsletter - September 2017 â€˘ www.yalari.org â€˘ 11
YALARI PARTNER SCHOOL
Shanelle (Nellie) Smith has been a boarder at Kambala since Year 7 and graduates this year as Yalari Valedictorian and a respected student leader of Kambala. Kambala is a vibrant, independent day and boarding school for girls in Sydney and has been a valued partner school of Yalari since 2012. The school has been inspiring young women to learn and celebrate education for over 130 years. We spoke with Nellie and the rest of the Yalari girls about their experiences at Kambala and the roles they wish to play as leaders within the school and within their communities. What do you think is the most valuable aspect of the Yalari girls being here at Kambala? As Indigenous students living and studying in this part of Sydney, we bring to the community a range of unique perspectives and a rich cultural offering that other students might not otherwise be exposed to. The sheer fact that we are here means that students, staff and parents get to learn more about Indigenous culture. What are your plans once you graduate from Kambala? I’d like to study at UTS [University of Technology Sydney], perhaps in a field such as Public Relations/Media. I’m interested in events so that’s where I would hope to take it in the future. How has Yalari supported you throughout your time here? We get to go on yearly camps with other Yalari students which is always great fun and we meet people on the same journey. The SSO’s [Yalari Student Support Officers] come to visit and check in with us which is also very helpful. Through Yalari, I’ve learned more about other Indigenous cultures around Australia, showing how unique our cultures are. Overall, Yalari has really helped us to broaden our horizons. What do you see as the key benefits of the Yalari program at Kambala? I’ve been able to meet new best friends. If I was back home, I’d stick to my small community, but here, I’ve connected with new people, shared my culture and my mind has opened up more. You get more opportunities here; you start to see things differently; your horizons broaden. The education is at a high level and it makes you more confident within yourself and your ability to speak with people proudly. In our culture, confidence isn’t always a big thing – people are very shy. Comparing Year 7 to now, I can observe that I no longer close myself off to people. What is one piece of advice you want to give all the Yalari students about to start in Year 7 next year? Be confident, and take every opportunity you get. Be yourself. Come into it with an open mind. It’s going to be hard, you’re going to struggle. If you can get through the first year, you can make friends with everyone.
Esther, Nellie, Monique, Taleyah and Kiara with Kambala’s Acting Principal, Mr Shane Hogan.
At Kambala, NAIDOC Week activities culminated in a ceremony on the oval. Uncle Vic Simms, a Bidjigal elder, presented a tree carving to the school that he carved on their oval during Reconciliation Week. It is called “Kambala Dreaming: A cultural journey of North Western NSW”.
From the girls...
“I think the most valuable aspect of us being at Kambala is that very few people know much about Indigenous cultures so they get to learn more about it and have first-hand experiences.” - Taleyah, Year 10 “A memorable moment for me this year was meeting new people. The older girls have been really supportive“ - Esther, Year 7 “Nellie has been a very big part of my experience here. You can always talk to her. She’s like a big sister to all of us. We’re like a big family here.” - Kiara, Year 9 “Being here at Kambala, we can teach other students more about our cultures and share different perspectives with them.” - Kayla, Year 11 “A memorable moment for me this year is when I attended a leadership camp in California called ‘Core Leadership’. It was a massive opportunity. I got to learn more about who I am. It was one of the highlights for me so far. I’m going to take up more opportunities. “ - Monique, Year 10
Educating Indigenous Children
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Working together since 2012 to educate and empower Indigenous children
A big heart for growing minds Left: Heather Douglas (left) with her colleagues from HSF, volunteering at the 2017 Yalari Melbourne Dinner. Below: Tathra Lowe and Ardu Cubillo
Left: St Catherine’s School students Nina Pigram (Year 9), Kayla Harrison (Year 9), Jasmin Glass (year 7), and Kayla Jackson (Year 7).
Kayla Harrison & Heather Douglas. Kayla received the Victorian Junior Resilience Award at the Melbourne Dinner in 2016.
THE MOTIVATION TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE Heather Douglas is a Melbourne based Solicitor working for international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). Since 2005, HSF has been an active supporter of Yalari, providing not only probono legal advice but also a team of enthusiastic volunteers at various Yalari events and activities.
she started a tutoring program in Melbourne with Yalari students at Methodist Ladies College (MLC).
“I first learned about Yalari through my work as a Solicitor at HSF,” Heather explains.
This year, Heather has volunteered to tutor four new students at St Catherine’s School in Melbourne.
“She is enthusiastic, proactive and the students can relate to her. I really appreciate all Heather brings to Yalari,” she continues.
“Tutoring has been a great way to see Yalari’s program in action and get to know some of Yalari’s fantastic students, staff and partner school staff.”
“It has been a pleasure to make a small contribution to Yalari’s success. I believe that Yalari and its students have a very bright future,” Heather said.
Heather continues to volunteer with her HSF colleagues at the fundraising dinners in Melbourne and has also recently helped the Year 12 Yalari students with interview practice and resume
Thank you to Heather and the whole committed team of volunteers and tutors Yalari has across Australia.
“But my first real encounter with Yalari was (like many others) at a fabulous fundraising dinner. I was struck by Waverley Stanley’s ambition for Yalari, and the calibre and commitment of his team,” she says. In early 2016, Heather decided to support Yalari on a more regular basis. With the help of her HSF colleagues,
“The tutoring has been very successful and we continue to work with Ardu Cubillo (Year 12) and Tathra Lowe (Year 11) at MLC,” Heather says.
writing at the Yalari Pathways Workshop. “Heather has been instrumental in the recruitment of volunteers for Yalari events and arranging new tutors,” explains Pam Boavida, Volunteer Coordinator at Yalari.
Have you ever thought about volunteering?
Volunteering at Yalari provides a meaningful way to make a difference. If you have ever considered volunteering and would like more information, please email our Volunteer Coordinator Pam Boavida at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (07) 5665 8688. Yalari Quarterly Newsletter - September 2017 • www.yalari.org • 13
YALARI STUDENT SUPPORT PROGRAM
‘Every story has an end and every end has a new beginning’... Yalari Graduation Ceremony and Ski Weekend - Friday 25th August 2017
Yalari has had on her life.
The yearly Yalari Graduation Ceremony is a celebration of success, resilience, mateship and community, and we were proud to welcome another 21 Yalari graduates into our growing band of alumni.
“I feel honoured and proud to be named the 2017 Yalari Valedictorian,” she said.
The ceremony was held at The Realm Hotel in Canberra where students were joined by sponsors, family members and Yalari staff. Yalari alumna and 2016 Valedictorian Rekisha Satour did an outstanding job as Master of Ceremonies, and handed the ‘Valedictorian’ mantle to Kambala graduate Shanelle (Nellie) Smith. Nellie was awarded the top honour due to her extraordinary leadership and mentoring qualities, her commitment to Yalari and Kambala communities and her overall exemplary attitude. She delivered an emotional speech revealing her experiences throughout her boarding school journey, her admiration for founding directors Waverley Stanley and Llew Mullins and the very real impact
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“A simple thank you to Waverley and Llew would be an understatement. What you have done for us makes me so proud to be Indigenous. I’m proud when I meet people I’m able to say I achieved this because of a passionate, hard working Indigenous man who had a dream and chased it. You both inspire me with your dedication and passion... and the love you have for us students,” she continued. The formal ceremony was followed by an intimate lunch at Burberry Terrace which allowed for much reminiscing and reflection (and in some cases giggling) about their six year Yalari journey. After lunch, school uniforms were replaced by jeans and sneakers, and the rowdy crowd eagerly jumped on buses. Destination? Perisher ski fields!
Zamahl Bin Busu
The rest of the evening was spent sitting around the open fireplace in the chalet, catching up on old times and discussing the future. Once back at ‘the boys chalet’ the boys lapped-up the resort style living and well deserved break from study. Picturesque weather was enjoyed over the weekend as students took part in a mixture of skiing and snowboarding. For many of the students it was the first time they had seen snow. Of course, this is not the end of the road for friendships and connections made between the students. The Yalari Pathways Team have been busy working with our Year 12 students to help them with the transition from boarding school to life after school. Many of the graduates are heading straight to university, with others starting apprenticeships and traineeships. Some have elected to work with Yalari partner schools as gap year students, helping the younger students navigate the same journey that they are about to finish.
Congratulations to every member of our graduating class of 2017. We wish you all the best of luck; to pursue your dreams, enjoy your lives and make a positive difference in our world.
“To all 20 of my Yalari sisters and brothers that graduate today - congratulations! Your hard work and dedication has paid off. We all have our individual strengths and I know for sure every single one of you will be successful; we just have that special unique gift which will drive us to do amazing things with our lives.” Shanelle Smith - 2017 Yalari Valedictorian
Yalari Quarterly Newsletter - September 2017 • www.yalari.org • 15
Educating Indigenous Children
10 friends, one future...
Here at Yalari we believe it takes a whole community to educate a child. Will you and your friends join us and give young Indigenous children the chance to dream big and achieve?
Visit www.yalari.org to learn more about our ‘People Power’ initiative and how you can get involved! Donations can be made online at www.yalari.org or by completing the form below. Completed forms can be emailed to email@example.com or posted to PO Box 1355, Oxenford Qld 4210. 17 0 9 YAL N EWS
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