M'boro teen's achievements earn Govenor-General's attention
MARYBOROUGH teen Cori Summers' academic achievements earned her a special honour, with personal congratulations from Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
Cori completed Year 12 at St Hilda's on the Gold Coast, thanks to a scholarship and pastoral care provided by Yalari, a not-for-profit indigenous education organisation.
Graduates were honoured at a Canberra ceremony on Friday, August 9.
Yalari founding director Waverley Stanley said the organisation was committed to providing educational opportunities for indigenous children from remote, regional and rural Australia so they can meaningfully contribute to our society and reach their full potential.
"We work with each of the children in the program to ensure their smooth transition into some of Australia's best boarding schools and their ultimate academic and personal success," he said.
"This opportunity to meet with the Governor-General is a great privilege and caps off five years of hard work and achievement."
Mr Stanley said Yalari's model was successful because of one-on-one support and the range of specialised programs Yalari provided throughout the child's schooling life.
He said when a child received a Yalari scholarship, they became part of the Yalari family, and that help and guidance extended beyond their high school years.
"It's a genuine partnership - students, families, schools, communities and sponsors - all of us work to ensure these children succeed, not only at school but at university and beyond," Mr Stanley said.
"The alumni then support the younger ones through the program, doing their part to help bring about long-term generational change for Australia's Indigenous children."
In the past three years, the number of Yalari's Year 12 graduating students has jumped from five to 24.
Yalari currently has 185 indigenous students at 32 leading Australian boarding schools and a retention rate of 90%.