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Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation

Issue 4 - Term 4  2016
In This Term’s Edition
  • QATSIF QCE Scholarship Graduation Celebrations
  • Brisbane
  • Cairns
  • Rockhampton
  • QATSIF Celebrations at Townsville State High School
  • Laidley State High School - QATSIF/NAIDOC Celebration 
  • QATSIF visits Moura & Biloela
  • QATSIF Office News
  • Student News 
  • Outstanding STEM Awards for QATSIF Recipients
  • Last Words from QATSIF 2016
QATSIF Congratulates Scholarship Graduates

October has been a busy month for QATSIF Schools with QATSIF QCE Scholarship Graduations.  For each student, Year 12 Graduation  marks the end of school  and the beginning of a new stage in life. For a QATSIF Scholarship Recipient, the significance can be a greater awareness that he/she has successfully responded to scholarship requirements and hopefully developed confidence in taking on aspects of leadership.  

Our QATSIF Scholarship Recipients have been very busy with the stress

of final assessments and final exams and the Scholarship Graduation was a good way for students to break for a few hours to celebrate their achievements.  

We are grateful that so many schools, close to 52, were able to attend one of our three QATSIF Graduations this year … Yes, three! This was the first year we have been able to celebrate with schools and Graduates of the Rockhampton area and we have hopes that there might be an additional celebration at the Gold Coast in 2017. 
Brisbane Graduation
Cairns Graduation

On the 13th October the Cairns Graduation Ceremony was hosted by Woree State High School along with eight other Cairns local and regional QATSIF schools in attendance.

Close to 70 Year 12 Round 6 & 7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander QATSIF Scholarship Recipients celebrated their successful completion of their QATSIF scholarship requirements.  

Aunty Henrietta Marrie Fourmile commenced proceedings with a traditional Welcome to Country with remarkable stories of the local traditional area and her cultural connection to the land.

Woree State High students Dabia Nona QATSIF Round 6 Yr 12 student and Cultural Officer Yr 10 Student Shadrach Getawan were the MCs for the event. Both students were a credit to this school.     

Woree High School Principal Mr Bruce Houghton gave a short speech and was impressed with the number of Cairns QATSIF students. “On behalf of myself and Woree High School I’d like to welcome the Graduating students, their families or support members, school representatives and principals , special guests and thank you all for making the time to come here today to celebrate this special occasion.”

Inspiring speeches were shared by student representatives from Mt St Bernard College Herberton, Atherton State High School and St Mary’s 
Catholic College, telling their stories of challenges, success and hope that were appreciated by all. 

The audience shared in the talents of the Biddigal Dance Group who has workshopped with Bangara Dance

Company and the Australian Ballet Company.

Dance Director Pauline Lampton introduced the dance explaining the background of the story of how a white man fell in love with an Aboriginal woman in a time when this was taboo and how these two people endured opposition and remained in love and together. These traditional story lines were gifted to her and valuing the cultural way, these stories are generating student interest to take up and learn contemporary interpretive dance. The performance was an original piece and everyone was captivated by the spirit of the dance. Having it performed against the backdrop mural made it very special part of the day. She was humbled to have some family descendants’ of the story line present and was delighted they could see and enjoy the performance that was gifted to her by the family.

Deputy Chair Rod Jensen presented certificateswith Ms Deanna Minniecon Regional Director from Education Qld, Mr Bill Dixon from Cairns Catholic Education and Ms Kirrily Turner from the Public Trustee.

It was a privilege and great pleasure for Woree State High School to host this event and we would like to acknowledge this quote by one of the students.

“My hope for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is that they can be the change that’s needed to reshape the perspectives for a better brighter future for our people. 

I would hope that we will all work towards making Reconciliation real for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Let us stand tall, be proud and never, never, never give up!”
Rockhampton Graduation

Our very first Rockhampton Scholarship Graduation event was celebrated on the 14th October, hosted by CQUniversity. 

Six schools in the region including Mackay State High School making the longest journey to be there, helped us congratulate over 40  


This wonderful event was made even more special with a drama performance about the importance of education by Rockhampton State High School students. The audience appreciated this enthusiastically.
QATSIF Celebrations at 
Townsville State High School

QATSIF recognises the value of networking as support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students. We were delighted this year when Townsville State High School chose to host a QATSIF gathering for Townsville and neighbouring QATSIF Schools. 

To talk about the importance of heritage was special guest speaker Max Lenoy from James

Cook University and helping Dr Grace Sarra share the values of QATSIF were student speakers from Annandale Christian College, Ingham State High School, Kirwan State High School and St Margaret Mary’s College.  

We all enjoyed a deep sense being warmly welcomed. Thank you TSHS! - especialy Rothana and Kaylene. 
Laidley State High School - QATSIF/NAIDOC Celebration

Each year to celebrate the end of  NAIDOC Week, Laidley State High School holds a special QATSIF NAIDOC Celebration.  This year around 50 QATSIF students from Laidley State High School and other schools in the surrounding district attended. 

In our last newsletter we shared an article about the gathering and sadly we had no photos to put with it, but now we do. Please enjoy!  

Impressively this event is organised in only a few weeks and happens in the second week of Term Three. Year after year this parade has been a complete success.  

All schools are welcome to join in and make this a tradition for you and your students to attend. Mark Thursday 20th of July on your calendars for next year and don’t miss out on this great event. 
QATSIF visits Moura and Biloela State High Schools

For each year that QATSIF grows in the number of schools that it supports, so does the demand for us to visit them. We make every effort to achieve this and in mid August QATSIF Secretariat Manager Narelle Mullins and Board Member Claire Schneider visited two of some of our remote high schools in Moura and Biloela.  

To share the experience, this is what Narelle had to say. 

The day at Moura and Biloela yesterday for QATSIF was everything and more than it was predicted. These schools do it tough with obvious signs of limited resources.

Moura: QATSIF runs on the passion of teacher Norah Parsons who has lived in the town “forever.” She is so committed and so loved by the QATSIF students. Norah has become a Finalist in the National Competition for Excellence in Teaching. 

This school is only in its first year with QATSIF and their connection came through an interested teacher at Theodore (P-10 school). There are two Year 11 QATSIF girls traveling 60 kms each way to and from school at Moura each day. They are passing and doing well. I could

feel their connection to the QATSIF group and the fact that they are helped to feel “special.” They learned more of the QATSIF Story, the essence of the scholarships and details of the wider Scholarship Scheme as it is rolled out throughout Queensland. One Year 8 girl sang solo for us. Many times Norah said “We can feel so isolated out here.” Her gratitude as well as that of the Deputy were keenly felt. 

Biloela again presented a very passionate teacher in Megan Muller who is clearly the connector of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander students there. We first shared with the QATSIF group and then did another session with the Year 7, 8 and 9 students. 

There was much interest and clearly the QATSIF students valued learning more about their Scholarship. They were an interesting group with most of them having their roots in more far flung parts of the State and country rather than local traditional groups. It was clear they had been doing research on who they are and where they were from.

While it was a long day, the value of this day to the students and staff was clearly obvious.

Above - Staff and students from Moura State High School and below Biloela State High School
QATSIF Office News

Round 8 Scholarship Applications closed on 26th August 2016. All applications have been assessed by the QATSIF Board and final notification of outcomes will be in the form of a media release emailed to school towards the end of November 2016.

QATSIF Competition for all current Scholarship Recipients as well as those students who have been applied for in Round 8 (2017-2018).

Past QATSIF Graduation from 2013, Emily Warramura is now a world renowned Songwoman. Emily was interviewed on 612ABC Radio on Thursday 27th October and remains proud to have been a QATSIF Recipient from Mary Mackillop College Nundah.


Scholarship Leaders
Have any of your school’s QATSIF students been elected to executive school leadership positions in 2017?

Round 6 Acquittal information has been emailed to all Round 6 QATSIF schools and already many schools have commenced the completion of this report which QATSIF would love to receive before staff finish up for the Christmas break.

Emily creates her own songs and music and has offered to create a special song for QATSIF. She needs to hear from students and has asked if we could invite students to write in less than 200 words “What education means to me.” From this input she will create her QATSIF Song.

As Emily also works in media, she has suggested that a prize of some media experience for the winning student could be a good incentive. We will continue to reflect on this possibility but would love to have student contributions emailed in to: enquiries@ with “QATSIF Song Competition” as the subject heading. Please make sure that students attach their name and grade to the entry and submit by 30 November 2016.


Please let us know asap to enquiries@ as we would like to congratulate them in the QATSIF Annual Report.

Launching Dr Ruth Hegarty’s new book!
kuril dhagun turns 10! and what better way to celebrate than to launch a new book by one of kuril dhagun’s long-time supporters - Aunty Ruth Hegarty.

We are so excited to invite the community into the space and promote “The Empty Crib”, Aunty Ruth’s first fiction novel.

This is a part of the SLQ celebrates! program - a full day of celebration filled with Queensland stories, creativity and innovation, plus join us for the official cutting of the cake at 11:00am.

kuril dhagun, Level 1, State Library
12 November, 12:00pm
Free event
Student News

Year 12 student of Beerwah State High School, Matt Jones has recently been awarded the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award for the North Coast Region at the Queensland Training Awards.  These awards are the State’s highest recognition of people and organisations who strive for success, best practice and innovation in training.

  Matt commenced his traineeship with the ANZ Bank in 2014 and since then has learnt many facets of banking.  The nomination process for this award is both lengthy and arduous.  Matt headed to Brisbane alongside other Regional Finalists to attend the Queensland Training Awards Gala Dinner where successful finalists were awarded with the Australian Training Awards in Darwin.   Congratulations to Matt on his already outstanding achievement and we wish him the best of luck in his new banking role and future outcomes.

Wavell State High School student Nadia Morrison applied for and was successful in gaining a SBT Cert III Business Administration with QANTAS Airways Ltd. late 2014.  She is now based at Brisbane Airport dividing her time between the domestic and international terminals.  As a young girl Nadia dreamed of being a “air hostess” but this traineeship has changed her whole outlook.  She now has aspirations of gaining post school studies in human resource management and entering the corporate area in a much more meaningful way.

  Nadia had been on an OP pathway to study Social Work at University, but securing the business traineeship has altered her pathway to receiving a “Rank” qualification to study her chosen field at University in Human Resource Management or Business.

Nadia also participates in the Indigenous programs on offer at Wavell State High, and she willingly showcases her beautiful singing voice at NAIDOC. She also sang for the recent QATSIF Graduation and we are most grateful. 

Nanango State High School student Yanna Wilson is being nominated for the Young Women’s Leadership awards (Story Teller) which was announced, and we are keen to know the results, at the 2016 Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network State Conference in October.

Yanna performed dance at the 2015 QRRRWN conference and the QATSIF & USQ Reconciliation ceremony 2016. She is a proud woman, originally from the Tiwi Islands, is passionate about her culture and loves to share her natural creative ability for dance and art. In the photo Yanna is depicted
with two other Barambah QRRRWN women wearing the fascinators they created from old farm supplies. The photo is a great image of the diversity of age, geographical locations and culture that they have connected and grown through QRRRWN. 

Marymount College had much Recipient news  to share with us this term:  

  Year 12 student Nick Muir was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the year, for the South East Region. It is fantastic to hear that he has undertaken a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation, helping with sports lessons and working as a swimming instructor at Marymount Primary School. 

  Year 12 student Zach Smith has had great success in the Interschool Snowboard Championships. He was placed second in the Queensland Division 1 event, and sixth New South Wales Division 1 event.   With these results, he qualified to compete in the Australian Interschool Championships held at Perisher in September. 

  Year 11 student Courtney Bedford has shown her outstanding skills on the netball court, as a member of Marymount College’s victorious QISSN Team for 2016. Marymount had a decided victory in the Division 2 Grand Final, winning 31-­‐16 and bringing home the Lara Nilsson trophy.  

Courtney, who plays Centre court, was rewarded for her hard work, winning the title of Most Valuable Player of the entire carnival, an award that she was nominated for by members of the opposing teams.

  Year 11 student Thomas Weatherall took part in his first public speaking competition in the Lion’s Youth of the Year, where he was awarded the Public Speaking Award for his Round of the Competition. He went on to compete in the Rostrum Voice of Youth, winning his round of the Gold Coast heats and progressing to the Regional Finals. Whilst Tom did not place in the Regional Finals, he received positive and valuable feedback that will assist him in future competitions. In both competitions, Tom spoke about how important it is for young Indigenous people to be proud of their heritage.
Tom is a valuable member of Marymount College’s Dance Troupe and Senior Extension Dance Team, representing the College at various school eisteddfods throughout the year. At this year’s “Get the Beat” competition in Murwillumbah, Tom was awarded the title of Best Male Dancer in the high school section, for showing outstanding talent and potential in dance.

Staff, students and families ... Do you wish to learn more about QATSIF? 

In a special broadcast on Thursday 27th October, 612ABC Local Radio presenter Kelly Higgin- Devine interviewed the Chair of QATSIF, a QATSIF Staff Member, past QATSIF students as well as some currently on Scholarships. You can still listen to this program on:

The QATSIF office loves to read what present and past QATSIF students are achieving. 
Please email us, or along with a photo.
Outstanding STEM Awards 
for QATSIF Recipients

The Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in STEM Education recognises students, teachers, schools and education partners who demonstraite an outstanding and innovative contribution towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education.  
Congratulating their award winner for Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student, are letters from:

Immanuel Lutheran College, Maroochydore

Congratulations to Year 12 student Alexandra Bainbridge-Brook for receiving the 2016 Peter Doherty Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student Award. The $5,000 award was presented on 12 August by the Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP, Minster for Science and Innovation.
Alexandra can use these funds to undertake activities associated with tertiary science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) courses and events, purchase equipment, or undertake research projects to gain experience in a research laboratory.
As Alexandra plans to study engineering next year, this is a very worthy and timely award.    
Well done Alex!



Isis District State High School, Childers 

  Aleisha Thomas, Isis District SHS School Captain and QATSIF Recipient, recently was awarded the prestigious Peter Doherty Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student Award for excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The award incudes a significant financial component to support her studies at university next year.
The Minister for Innovation, Science and Digital Technologies, the Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP, presented Aleisha with her award at a ceremony held at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

St Peter Claver College, Brisbane

  I just wanted to share with you that our College Captain, Sahamar Ruben, was awarded a Peter Doherty Award for Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student at the ceremony on Friday evening last week. Please see the link that publicises the award that is most prestigeous.
I could not be more pleased for Sahamar who, as a proud Torres Stait Islander woman, does much to assert the beauty and capability of our young women and young men in the achievement of Mollum Sabe in its fullest context in SPCC.
Last Words from 

The Jacarandas are blooming! In our part of the world, this is always a sign of students’  exam time, Graduations and new pathways beckoning. QATSIF wishes every graduating QATSIF Scholarship Recipient the very best for your future and a sense of achievement in being part of an increasing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Year 12 Graduates.  

It is also a time when Excellence in Teaching Awards are announced - coinciding with World Teachers’  Day. QATSIF takes this opportunity to congratulate all school staff who are significant support persons for our graduating QATSIF Scholarship Recipients. We are inspired by your care for students and the way that so many of you will present opportunities to students encouraging them to go beyond their comfort zone and realise their true potential. There are many unsung heroes amongst you all!

From very small beginnings, QATSIF is also blooming throughout the State. We thank Woree State High School for hosting the 2016 Cairns QATSIF Graduation, CQUniversity for hosting

the first ever Rockhampton QATSIF Graduation and the University of Queensland for hosting the 2016 Brisbane QATSIF Graduation. Behind all of these events were significant teams of staff working with our QATSIF office  and we remain most grateful. The photos from these events reflect the fact that there is much to celebrate. In all, there are approximatly 990 Year 12 QATSIF Graduates throughout Queensland in 2016 from Thursday Island out to Mt Isa, Longreach, Barcaldine and Emerald, down to Charleville, Cunnamulla, St George, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.....all  from very small beginnings.

We love to hear about additional celebrations in Bundaberg and Gladstone and welcome your news of QATSIF Recipients throughout the year. 

Please note our proposed QATSIF calendar for Semester 1 2017 below. 

We wish you well for the remainder of the school year.

QATSIF Dates for 2017

Be sure to mark  your 2017 calendars for these proposed QATSIF events.
All event venues will be advised early in 2017.

March 1st 2017    

May 15th 2017    

May 26st 2017    

May 31st 2017    

June 21st 2017    

July 7th 2017    

July 20th 2017    

August 2nd 2017    

October 11th 2017    

October 13th 2017    

October 18th 2017    

October 20th 2017    


Round 8 New Recipients’ Celebration 10:00am

Preliminary advice regarding Round 9 to schools

National Sorry Day /QATSIF Gathering at Springfield 10:30am

Reconciliation Week /QATSIF Gathering at Toowoomba  10:30am

Round 9 opens for applications from schools

QATSIF stall at Musgrave Park Family Fun Day
We would love some Scholarship Recipient helpers from 10am - 2pm ... Brigidine College paved the way in 2016. 
Can you help us? Free lunch included!

Laidley State High School QATSIF/NAIDOC Celebration

Townsville QATSIF Gathering

Cairns QATSIF Graduation

Rockhampton QATSIF Graduation

Brisbane QATSIF Graduation

Gold Coast QATSIF Graduation
Copyright © 2016 Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation (QATSIF), All rights reserved.

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