Mid-Year Newsletter 2021
It's crazy to believe we're over halfway through 2021!
It was another busy term for the Cathy Freeman Foundation, as we continued to pivot due to the challenges that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis presents. Lockdowns in Melbourne and Palm Island meant we had to postpone both our Team Week and our Palm Island Netball Challenge, but we hope to be able to participate in both in the future.
As always, our staff and partner communities have taken any changes in their stride, and banded together as we navigate these unprecedented times.
There was plenty of excitement throughout Term 2. This included NAIDOC Week celebrations, as well as the announcement of our new partnership with UNICEF Australia, which will expand our program work and provide greater educational opportunities for young people living in our remote communities.
It's been a huge first half of this year, with nine back to school marches, 439 classroom visits, seven family open days, and 21 Starting Block Awards Ceremonies.
Read on below to see what we've been up to.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Kind regards, Jade Colgan Chief Executive Officer
BACK TO SCHOOL MARCHES So far this year, Over 1000 students, alongside more than 720 parents and community members, have proudly marched in our Back to School Marches within our four partner communities to celebrate the beginning of each school term and the development and learning that awaits.
SHEPHERDSON COLLEGE OPEN DAY
Shepherdson College in Galiwin'ku enjoyed a successful Family Open Day last term. There was plenty on offer, including open classes, sports, raffles and more. At the halfway point of 2021, we've conducted seven family open days across our communities, connecting with over 1000 students, family members and community members.
TERM 2 STARTING BLOCK AWARDS
We recently celebrated our end of term Starting Block Awards, recognizing students who achieved 90% and above attendance, to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. Across the first two school terms this year, over 1500 students, parents and community members were involved in the 21 ceremonies, where 944 awards were handed out. We are grateful to St.George Foundation for their support of our Starting Block program.
LOCAL HORIZONS CAMPS
Senior students from Palm Island's Bwgcolman Community School had a wonderful time on Magnetic Island recently as part of our Local Horizons program, while senior students from Wadja Wadja High School in Woorabinda enjoyed a camp to Yeppoon and Rockhampton.
A big thank you to Viva Energy for their support in making these camps possible, we are so grateful.
Across the second half of the year, our National Horizons participations will be visiting Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra for a once in a lifetime intensive personal development experience in a metropolitan city.
GARY PRIOR, PALM ISLAND SENIOR PROGRAM COODINATOR
Palm Islander Gary has experience in multiple industries including health, mining, administration and education. For him, the most rewarding part about working with children is seeing them proud of what they've achieved. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, travelling and being in the company of friends and families.
BENJAMIN CASTORS, PALM ISLAND PROGRAM OFFICER
Benjamin, a Kuku Yalanji/Yidinji/Erub man, has experience working with young children and finds joy in watching them develop the skills that they need throughout life. His hobbies include playing netball and spending time with his family and friends.
GRACE KALAC, CFF HEAD OFFICE COMMUNICATIONS & ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR
Grace holds a Masters degree in journalism and brings four years of experience working in digital media. She is an avid sports fan and is passionate about all children receiving the same access to education that she did.
AMY AH SAM, PALM ISLAND PROGRAM OFFICER
New Palm Island Program Officer Amy, who is of Bwgcolman descent, recently completed her secondary education. She is looking forward to working with children and being a part of their growth and development. She is a lover of shopping and spending time out on the boat.
RENEE GRINFELDS, PALM ISLAND PROGRAM OFFICER
Renee is a descendant from the Bwgcolman clan. She has previously worked in the Army and childcare. Working with children is a passion of hers, as is sport, being outdoors and home décor.
TARSHA MORGAN, CFF HEAD OFFICE PARTNERSHIPS & KEY PROJECTS MANAGER
Tarsha holds a Bachelor of Business (Event Management) and has 14 years of customer service experience. Living on the Mornington Peninsula most of her life, she is a beach girl who is passionate about equality and helping other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who don’t have access to the same opportunities she did growing up.