We were also able to show some love for around 400 Indigenous front line mental health volunteers by also offering free seats underwritten by some major(anonymous)donors.
It was an amazing night, MC’d by the wonderful Tina Alteri who also interviewed three of our students on stage – Tex Garstone, Dom Barry and Shaun Garlett who were all inaugural Jilya scholarship recipients and 3 of our 7 male Indigenous psychology students. It is so important the we reach Aboriginal men who are often therapy reluctant.
Finally, an address by our founding director, Dr Tracy Westerman concluded by announcing our ELEVEN recipients of the Jilya scholarships for 2022. She ended her speech by speaking directly to the 20 current scholarship recipients in attendance:
“Please stand, our students. I borrow from the words of Kamala Harris
Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others might not see you, simply because they have never seen it before.
And we will applaud you every step of the way.
You show every Aboriginal person what is possible through the power of education.
It has the power to close the gap for every one of us as it did for me.
You have learnt that your most important virtue is bravery, for it enables all of the others.
Bravery to understand that your greatest advantage is the disadvantage you have all come from.
Bravery to not have allowed it to define you nor limit you.
That makes the very essence of who you are, what you have lived, and the hope and optimism this represents to be the most important element of how our communities will find the strength to heal ourselves”.