14 September 2023

The Power of Shared Values

They say it takes a community to educate a child; supporting 249 Indigenous children to attend leading boarding schools around Australia though, takes a network of dedicated individuals, families, organisations and corporate supporters.

Yalari is supported by many throughout Australia, and, so often, individuals are able to highlight the importance of Indigenous education within their own networks and communities.

Sponsors like Dan Williams and his family who, through the family’s Rockybar Indigenous Education Fund, have sponsored Year 11 student Charli at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Brisbane, are an integral part of the Yalari community. 

Dan and Fiona Williams with Charli at the 2023 Yalari Brisbane Gala Dinner

“My belief is that an equal opportunity for quality education is going to best equip young Indigenous people for their future and create powerful role models for others who follow.”

Growing up in regional Queensland himself, Dan boarded at Toowoomba Grammar School – crossing over briefly with Yalari’s Founder Waverley Stanley – and so his own story has parallels with that of Yalari scholars across the country.

“I was a bush kid myself. I lived in the bush and did correspondence until grade 8 when I went to boarding school.

Going to a good quality boarding school was important to me in actually understanding what the world might be able to be for you and what you wanted to do with the world.”

As a Partner at MinterEllison’s Brisbane Office, and as the leader of the Workplace Team, Dan saw an opportunity for MinterEllison to be involved as well and was delighted when the firm committed to also sponsor a Yalari student at St Margaret’s.

Melina Christensen from MinterEllison with Robyne

This alignment from a personal and professional perspective, on the shared value of education and a desire to make a difference has already had a direct impact on the two girls who are studying at St Margaret’s on Yalari scholarships, as well as an indirect impact on their families, communities, and also other people at MinterEllison who, through the firm’s sponsorship, get to play a role in the betterment of educational opportunities for young Indigenous children.

MinterEllison’s Chief Community Officer, Kate Cato sees the partnership with Yalari as an important element of the firm’s Reconciliation Action Plan: “Our RAP sets out some significant ambitions, in particular the firm’s commitment to building education and employment pathways. The opportunity to amplify the impact of the contribution Dan’s family has made through Yalari is valued highly by the firm.”

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