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Latest News - December 2021

As we approach the end of 2021, our entire team at the Cathy Freeman Foundation would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your support and for continuing to be a part of our journey. We have an announcement on a transition for the Foundation, which will see Cathy step off the Board this December and will see our name transition in June 2022. We are excited about the journey ahead and I invite you to read on further, below, to hear more about the transition.

Your care and encouragement is always noticed, and it allows us to fulfil our ultimate purpose of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to have the best possible opportunities in life.

Much like 2020, the year wasn't without its challenges, but we are proud of our work which continued in community. Our hard-working staff both in Melbourne and our remote partner communities pressed on, and we were able to round out the year with some significant achievements. A particular highlight was the launch of our new ‘Sprint Passport Program’ in partnership with UNICEF Australia, which is designed to empower 15 to 18-year-olds in Woorabinda to plan and build on their innate strengths, as they transition from secondary school to tertiary education or the world of work. We also completed 10 full days of professional development this year across our Melbourne and Queensland teams, focusing on team building, futures thinking and capability development. With the borders opening, our national and state-based Horizons Programs will be in full swing again in 2022, providing students with opportunities and broadening their ability to set goals for a future of their making.

The crucial work that CFF does hasn't slowed, and the need for our programs is as important as ever. We can't wait to build on our existing programs in 2022, as we continue to equip our students with the knowledge and skills that will enhance their readiness for life at and after school.

We look towards the new year with excitement and anticipation, proud of our 2021 achievements, and as determined as ever to support our students and leave a lasting impact on them. As mentioned, we do have some transition news that we want to share also, so please read on below as update.

Thank you for being on this journey with us. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.

From Jade Colgan CEO and the entire CFF team

Today we announce that after 15 wonderful years as Co-Founder and Director of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, Cathy will be stepping away and passing the baton onto the leadership team of the Chair, Professor Larissa Behrendt AO, Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jade Colgan and the Directors of the Board.

Cathy Freeman said, “After 15 years with the Foundation, I believe the time is right to hand on the legacy to allow the Foundation to transition into an exciting new phase. Given the organisation is in a strong position, particularly in terms of governance, structure and support, this gives me a great deal of comfort in making this decision now.”

“The time has come for me to concentrate and prioritise other areas of my life, across both personal and professional spheres. I will step off the board at the end of the year and, by June next year, we will see the Foundation transition to a new name.”

Cathy Freeman Foundation CEO, Jade Colgan said, “Cathy has generously and passionately given her time and focus to the Cathy Freeman Foundation since its inception in 2007. We thank her for walking alongside the organisation tirelessly for the past 15 years. She has been a passionate and driving force, which enabled the organisation to grow to be where it is today. The organisation is stronger than ever, and we are honoured and committed to continue the vital and impactful work that we do.”

The Foundation now has programs and work that have grown beyond what Cathy could have imagined when we commenced. She will remain a passionate advocate for Indigenous potential and achievement and believes that the important work of the Foundation speaks for itself. The precious 1,600 children who are program recipients, have always been the soul of our organisation, and the communities and their children’s futures will remain the core purpose of the organisation’s existence. They will never cease being the driving force behind the grit, determination, and resilience of the organisation.

“I look forward to seeing the Foundation continue to grow from strength to strength and the important work continuing. I move forward with a full heart, knowing the Foundation is in as strong a place as ever. I’m mindful of the continuing great work of the foundation and I have admiration for the Board, staff and extraordinary supporters who continue to be dedicated and passionate. I will always have a deep and profound love for Palm Island, Woorabinda, Galiwin’ku and Wurrumiyanga and I will be forever connected to them. I look forward to remaining in touch and feeling the impact as these communities grow and fulfil the remarkable potential within. said Cathy.

Professor Larissa Behrendt AO, Chair of the Cathy Freeman Foundation said, “Cathy Freeman has built an inspiring legacy through the Foundation. She has always had an eye on giving to the community and passing on to the next generation. We are grateful for her leadership and look forward to building on the important work she has overseen.”

As we transition over the coming months, we want to thank you, our supporters for your continued and vital support. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We ask that you continue to walk alongside us as our journey continues to support Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children to realise their full potential.

Thank you

Jade Colgan CEO & Chair Larissa Behrendt

In a snapshot, we are:

CFF works with four partner communities with the following approximate populations: Palm Island QLD with 3,800 people, Woorabinda QLD with 1000 people, Wurrumiyanga NT with 1,500 people and Galiwin’ku NT with 2000 people.

Congratulations to our 2021 graduates in our partner schools and wishing you all the best for the chapter ahead, we can't wait to see what you achieve next!

That's a wrap for Stride for Education in 2021!

Two thousand one hundred striders, from schools, to families, to workplaces and more, joined forces for Indigenous education last month and together, we covered over 34 thousand kilometers while raising $33,955 for our programs.

What an amazing effort! Thank you for striding with us this November, we loved seeing you hit the pavement in support of the Cathy Freeman Foundation.


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