Catching Up With Our Inspiring Alumni – September 2020

We love our alumni! We recently caught up with some of them to see what they have been up to for the last few months. Let’s see what they have to say…

Ali Crawshaw-Tomlins
Class of 2018 | St Ignatius’ College, Riverview

Yalari alumnus Ali Crawshaw-Tomlins joined the participants of The Youth Mill – Beats of Culture program to film a virtual Welcome to Country on the beach at East Point reserve Fannie Bay, Darwin.

Ali played didgeridoo for the performance, which is for a two-day conference with guests tuning in from all over the globe.

Trey Petterson
Class of 2016
St Ignatius’ College, Riverview

I have been studying since February and have completed the first year of my university course (Social and Political Sciences), so I have been very excited as well as trying to focus!

These times have been very confusing and tough, especially with face-to-face classes being pushed online. So for a couple of months, I have been back in Darwin with my family and have been getting some decent meals for the first time since I have started uni if you can’t tell by the picture, I have been very comfortable and relaxed. I have been out camping and spending all of my time catching up with friends and family. I have been trying to find the silver lining in this pandemic; and that is being able to reconnect with my family again. It is so important to stay connected with those who matter and not let anyone feel isolated or disconnected.

Trey Petterson
Class of 2016
St Ignatius’ College, Riverview

I have been studying since February and have completed the first year of my university course (Social and Political Sciences), so I have been very excited as well as trying to focus!

These times have been very confusing and tough, especially with face-to-face classes being pushed online. So for a couple of months, I have been back in Darwin with my family and have been getting some decent meals for the first time since I have started uni if you can’t tell by the picture, I have been very comfortable and relaxed. I have been out camping and spending all of my time catching up with friends and family. I have been trying to find the silver lining in this pandemic; and that is being able to reconnect with my family again. It is so important to stay connected with those who matter and not let anyone feel isolated or disconnected.

Kane Brunjes
Class of 2016 | Toowoomba Grammar School

I’m a proud Gunggari, Kabi Kabi man from Murgon.

I practice as an artist and have recently started work as a trainee for a Certificate III in Land Management and Conservation. I’ve been loving being on country and learning about the area of my old people and surrounding families.

My travels in the art world include connections with Birrunga Gallery, Digi Youth arts, and Barambah Pottery where I work with others in the development of my practice and the sharing of story. Currently, I’m in the process of creating a few commission pieces, so the next few days will be spent in my Aunties shed painting while on Wakka Wakka country where the beauty seems endless.

Taneale Lawton
Class of 2014 | St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School

While I have been completing my HR degree at QUT, I’ve had the fortunate pleasure of working at Davidson in the People & Culture sector. This work experience has given me a glimpse into what my future career could look like in a couple of years and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Not only has Davidson enabled me to gain real world experience, they have also taught me some valuable lessons about team work, culture and purpose. I strive to be a lifelong learner and I embrace all learning opportunities. I now embrace failures as my greatest opportunity to learn and improve. One of my favourite things about Davidson follows a quote from the book legends by James Kerr, ‘Don’t be too big to do the small things.’ Everyone regardless if you’re the CEO or a casual like me, is held accountable for themselves, their teammates and Davidson as an organisation. I’m forever grateful to the Davidson team, particularly P&C who assist me in my studies as well as challenge me to go above and beyond in work and life.

Taneale Lawton
Class of 2014 | St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School

While I have been completing my HR degree at QUT, I’ve had the fortunate pleasure of working at Davidson in the People & Culture sector. This work experience has given me a glimpse into what my future career could look like in a couple of years and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Not only has Davidson enabled me to gain real world experience, they have also taught me some valuable lessons about team work, culture and purpose. I strive to be a lifelong learner and I embrace all learning opportunities. I now embrace failures as my greatest opportunity to learn and improve. One of my favourite things about Davidson follows a quote from the book legends by James Kerr, ‘Don’t be too big to do the small things.’ Everyone regardless if you’re the CEO or a casual like me, is held accountable for themselves, their teammates and Davidson as an organisation. I’m forever grateful to the Davidson team, particularly P&C who assist me in my studies as well as challenge me to go above and beyond in work and life.

Zac Collins-Widders
Class of 2014 | The MacDonald College

Since graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2017, I have been working for the Victorian Government. I entered the Victorian Public Service on the Indigenous Cadetship program where I was eventually employed as a Policy Officer for the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) working in Aboriginal Affairs. During my time at DPC, we worked on passing Australia’s first-ever treaty legislation, reparations for Stolen Generations, and whole-of-government self-determination reforms.

In January 2020 I took a new role with Emergency Management Victoria, during the peak of some of the worst bushfires the country has seen, to advise the government on emergency management in relation to natural disasters, terrorism, cybersecurity, and health crises (like COVID-19).

I definitely recommend to any Yalari mob out there interested in working in government to apply through pathway entry programs to really kick start your career.

Lyric Hearn
Class of 2016 | Canberra Girls’ Grammar School

I’ve recently moved into a unit with my Yalari sister, Sarah-Cait, and it’s been the most grounding experience, especially in these times, having a place to truly make and call home these last couple of months.

I’ve also completed my six month internship with Yalari, continuing study for my Cert IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention with TAFE QLD.

Earlier this year, I was accepted into the Sparks Program, which is a playwright development program for emerging Indigenous writers, and in the process of producing a complete playscript by the end of the year.

Some days are busier than others and there’s a lot of things that aren’t certain but I’m grateful for the journey I’m on and for the people I get to share it with.

Lyric Hearn
Class of 2016 | Canberra Girls’ Grammar School

I’ve recently moved into a unit with my Yalari sister, Sarah-Cait, and it’s been the most grounding experience, especially in these times, having a place to truly make and call home these last couple of months.

I’ve also completed my six month internship with Yalari, continuing study for my Cert IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention with TAFE QLD.

Earlier this year, I was accepted into the Sparks Program, which is a playwright development program for emerging Indigenous writers, and in the process of producing a complete playscript by the end of the year.

Some days are busier than others and there’s a lot of things that aren’t certain but I’m grateful for the journey I’m on and for the people I get to share it with.

Sadiar Foster
Class of 2011 | St Patrick’s College

I embarked on a career change a few years ago after leaving my legal studies and career behind. I am now residing my with my partner in the Northern Beaches of Sydney and am in my third year of a new bachelor degree. I am studying to be a naturopath (which is a health science degree) and will be entering my clinic year very soon! I discovered a keen interest and passion for natural medicine during a time of healing and nursing myself back to strong health. It has been the most wonderful academic journey of discovery, growth, empowerment and of course, trials & tribulations.

I study at the Endeavour College of Natural Health in Sydney and am in the process of a new business start up, specialising in Native Australian Superfoods. My studies focus heavily on Indigenous traditional medicinal and nutritional healing and is one of the main driving factors behind my new entrepreneurial venture. It has been a busy, overwhelming but rewarding time. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend a Yalari event in a while, but nonetheless I want to say thank you once again to all the support and assistance Yalari provided me many years ago. I don’t know what my academic career would have looked like had I not been offered the foundational support of having others believe in me and give me a foot in the door.

HELP INDIGENOUS CHILDREN RECEIVE A QUALITY EDUCATION, TO DREAM BIG AND ACHIEVE!

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