Achievements of First Nations students celebrated at graduation ceremony
3 November 2023
Greater Western Water (GWW) has congratulated more than 30 First Nations students from nine schools who graduated from the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation's (WBCF) Nallei Jerring Koori Leadership Program.
GWW is a support partner of the program, which aims to engage and empower First Nations high school students from Melbourne’s west through understanding, connection to community, culture, positive self-identity and leadership.
It takes participants through a series of events, workshops and speaker presentations including cultural excursions, team building exercises, leadership skill development, AFL visits and hearing from respected Aboriginal Elders and leaders.
Congratulating participants at the program’s graduation ceremony earlier this week, GWW Managing Director Maree Lang said the water corporation’s program funding of $75,000 over three years was an important contribution to foster opportunities for young First Nations people in the community.
"The area we service is diverse, vibrant and growing and we are committed to partnering with organisations that improve local liveability and wellbeing and deliver meaningful community benefits," she said.
"We are a proud sponsor of this program, which supports First Nations people and provides them with an opportunity to develop their skills and confidence in a safe and empowering space. Congratulations to all the participants involved."
Students and teachers from the Achievements of First Nations - Nallei Jerring Koori Leadership Program.
Aisha Nicolay, a director of both the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation & Greater Western Water, said “our dynamic, resilient young people have participated in a range of activities and events such as workshops, cultural excursions and team-building exercises”.
"Through this process, they have grown and supported one another in their shared identity, whilst also building confidence in who they are as individuals; empowering them to become the next generation of First Nations leaders."
Students from Nallei Jerring Koori Leadership Program
During the ceremony, one of the participants of the program, Cindy, explained the benefit she had gained through her participation.
"Most importantly, it’s taught me to push myself to make the right decisions," she explained.
"My great-grandmother was a long-term resident of Footscray and she would have been deeply proud to know how much her team would be supporting and acknowledging culture - thank you to all who support this program."
The WBCF’s Nallei Jerring Koori Leadership Program is the first strategic community sponsorship selected through GWW’s Thriving Communities Grants and Sponsorship Program, which funds local projects, events and activities that make our region a great place to live.
It’s an example of GWW’s commitment to reconciliation, as outlined in its Reconciliation Action Plan, which was launched earlier this year.