AIEF Celebrates Class of 2021 Graduates

[by Kiran Spucys-Tahar]


Image: supplied

The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) has this week celebrated almost 70 Year 12 Scholarship Students who have completed their secondary education on an AIEF Scholarship.


Each year AIEF brings students in the Year 12 Graduating Class from Partner Schools across Australia to Sydney to celebrate this exciting step in a student’s journey, however due to the constraints of Covid-19, this year AIEF hosted an online Graduation event.


As part of the online event, students heard messages from AIEF Patron-in-Chief His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), and Patrons Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and David Gonski AC. Guests included members of the graduating class, their teachers, AIEF Mentors, AIEF Board Members and representatives of AIEF Corporate Partners.


There was also a virtual didgeridoo performance from one of the students, Jack Barnes from St Augustine’s College in Cairns, and an address on behalf of the graduating class by AIEF-BHP Scholarship Student Tianna Bin Jacob from Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Perth.


Students in the AIEF Class of 2021 come from communities across Australia – from Alice Springs to Armidale, Bourke to Broome, Cherbourg to Coonabarabran, and all the way from Wickham to Woorabinda.


The graduating students are planning to pursue career pathways at university, in training and employment including medicine and nursing, education, business, and the defence force.


Many are passionate about social justice, keen to work to improve the lives of Indigenous communities across Australia, or hoping to learn new skills that they can take back to their communities.


AIEF Executive Director Andrew Penfold AM said the graduating students and their achievements were a tremendous source of pride for AIEF.


“The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation started with the aim of educating a generation of young Indigenous people as Indigenous families sought enrol their children in boarding schools and support them to receive a quality education,” Mr Penfold said.


“Covid has made schooling particularly difficult over the past two years, yet AIEF Scholarship Students continue to achieve outstanding results. Nobody gives you an education. You earn it yourself and that's why it is so powerful.”


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