Patrons & Board

Graham (Polly) Farmer MBE

Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer, Patron

“I was fortunate in being successful in football. Now I want to put something back into helping your Australian people achieve their aspirations in sport and education.”

Graham (Polly) Farmer

From humble beginnings at Sister Kate’s Home – an orphanage for children of Aboriginal descent – Graham (Polly) Farmer rose to become one of Australian Rules Football’s greatest players. Graham played 392 league games between 1952-71 and won two Sandover Medals. He was 10 times his club’s fairest and best player. He was the first footballer to be named as a Member of the British Empire (MBE).

Sue Gordon

Dr Sue Gordon AM, Patron and President

Born near Meekatharra, Sue Gordon, like Graham Farmer, was raised at Sister Kate’s Orphanage in Perth. After raising her family, Sue studied Law and in 1988 was the first full-time magistrate appointed to the Perth Children’s Court and the first Aboriginal magistrate in WA. In 2000, she was appointed as Chairperson of the ‘Inquiry into Response by Government Agencies to Complaints of Family Violence and Child Abuse in Aboriginal Communities’ known as the ‘Gordon Inquiry’. Dr Gordon was appointed as Chairperson of the National Indigenous Council in 2004, a position she held until 2008. In 2003 she received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (Hon. DLitt) from the University of Western Australia. In 2009 she was appointed to the Indigenous Implementation Board of Western Australia.

The Foundation’s President Dr Sue Gordon AM talks about bringing together all of the partners to achieve the common agenda of helping more Aboriginal students reach their educational potential and enjoy rewarding, fulfilling lives.


Hon Fred Chaney AO – Senior Australian of the Year 2014

The Hon Fred Chaney AO is one of the Foundation’s Founders and current Vice President.

Fred has worked tirelessly for the Foundation since he was first approached by former Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s son in 1994. At the time, Stephen Hawke wanted to write a biography about Graham “Polly” Farmer, who agreed on the condition that Stephen helped set up a foundation to help young Aboriginal people. Stephen approach Fred just after he had finished in politics and to quote Fred “effectively handballed the obligation on to me”.

Since then, Fred has played an integral role in establishing and supporting the Foundation, which in turn has ensured a strong future for young Aboriginal people across Australia.



President, Dr Sue Gordon AM
Vice President, Hon Fred Chaney AO
Secretary,  Kim Farmer
CEO Cate Sims
John Cunningham AO
Dr Ron Edwards
Gail Beck
Hon Robert French AC
Danny Ford
Narelle Thorne