Yalari is proud to announce that its Founding Director, Waverley Stanley, has been recognised in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List.

Waverley has been appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) within the Australian honours system.  He receives this honour for “significant service to the Indigenous community through support for education”.

This acknowledgement stems from Waverley’s years of commitment to Indigenous education including the establishment of Yalari, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the education and empowerment of Indigenous children.

“We are giving Indigenous children the opportunity to be confident in themselves, confident in their heritage and confident in their educational standards. That they can walk into any room and they will be judged by their character and not the colour of their skin,” Waverley says.

Waverley, an Indigenous man from Murgon in remote Queensland, attributes his success to his Grade 7 primary school teacher, Mrs Rosemary Bishop who recognised Waverley’s potential and helped him secure a boarding school scholarship at Toowoomba Grammar School. He quickly realised the power of education and made it his life’s work to help Indigenous children achieve their best through a quality education.

Now in its 14th year of operation, Yalari has 194 Indigenous children on scholarships at 26 partner schools across Australia. It also has an alumni group of 346 who are studying at university, working, undertaking further training or raising families.

“I’m very grateful that I’m living a purpose with my wife, making significant changes. The staff that are supporting us, the volunteers, schools, families, children, donors, supporters; everybody that has been involved in Yalari since 2005, I have the utmost respect and gratefulness for what they give us each and every day,” Waverley says.

“It takes all of us working together to make a difference in this country and I’m just so grateful and honoured to be recognised in this way.”