Location News

New educational programs launched in Alice Springs

August 4, 2016

Founder and current Graham Polly Farmer Foundation Vice President The Hon. Fred Chaney officially launched an exciting series of new educational programs for Indigenous youth in Alice Springs in May. With funding from the Commonwealth Government and Centacorp, the existing Follow the Dream/Partnership for Success Program was expanded to include Maths and Science Centres of […]

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Steering a student’s ambitions in the direction of nursing

A love of the animals, the outdoors and helping people has steered Sabrina Gee’s ambitions in the direction of nursing. Sabrina, who studied at Elizabeth Macarthur High School, recently completed her exams for her high school certificate and is eagerly awaiting the results in the hope that she will score high enough to gain entrance […]

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Carnarvon graduate a true role model for her peers

Carnarvon Community College graduate Rhianna Couzens is a true role model for many of her peers having successfully completed her Undergraduate Degree in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia last year. Now fully immersed in the newly created Masters in Heritage Studies course at UWA, Rhianna admits she once found school […]

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Belmont Follow The Dream Graduate Excelling

June 22, 2015

It was an exciting moment tinged with sadness when Dominic Lawrence graduated from Belmont City College’s Follow The Dream program at the end of 2014. Dominic had been part of the program since joining the College in Year 8 and had consistently been one of the hardest workers in the program. Dominic matured into a […]

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Belmont Follow The Dream Graduate Excelling


June 19, 2015

Students from the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program were invited to co-ordinate and run the NAIDOC Week assembly at Muswellbrook Senior High School in June. Tyrell Roadley and Marcus Morris were MCs for the event and following are extracts from some of the students’ speeches at the event.

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A trip to the art gallery

Students who attend the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success Centre at least twice a week, have more than 85 per cent attendance at school and are getting C grade or above averages were treated to a trip to the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre.

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A trip to the art gallery

Compact Signing Ceremony

More than 60 students, teachers, supporters and family members gathered at the Muswellbrook Centre in early June to sign a Compact which outlines the roles and responsibilities for students and their supporters. The Compact Signing ceremony is an essential part of The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program and a key to the future success for the students that participate.

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Compact Muswellbrook web resize

Northam students join world leaders to commemorate diggers’ first landing

It was the moment 32 Western Australian students on the 2015 Premier’s ANZAC Student Tour had travelled so far for and worked so hard towards – standing on the very soil that the ANZACs first landed on 100 years to the day. The freezing temperature during the early morning of ANZAC Day only added to their experiences of what the diggers would have endured. As dawn broke, students joined 12,000 fellow Australians as well as New Zealanders to pay their respects to those who sacrificed everything for their country.

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Regina Leads The Way For Aboriginal Youth

June 18, 2015

Regina Richardson doesn’t consider herself any different to other students at Durack Institute of Technology in Geraldton. Her recent community, cultural and training achievements have been officially acknowledged at both state and national levels by prestigious training awards. At the beginning of 2014 Regina was selected as the winning recipient of Durack’s Aboriginal Student of the Year (sponsored by Rio Tinto), and awarded $1,000 prize at the Geraldton Graduation and Award ceremony in late March.

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Work Exposure with Government Program

“We were very fortunate to be selected to take part in the WEX Program in March which aims to provide Indigenous students in Year 11 and 12 with hands-on experience and information about job opportunities and career pathways in the Australian Government. Fifty students from all over Australia were selected and we were so excited that all three of us were chosen as well as Boyd, a Year 12 Follow the Dream student from Katanning.

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Follow The Dreams students take part in the WEX Program

Kiara College student speaks at National Sorry Day

Following are extracts from a speech by Year 12 Kiara College Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success student Desi Farrell on National Sorry Day to a gathering at Wellington Square in Perth.

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Kiara College Student Speaks at National Sorry Day

Dr Sue Gordon AM’s speech at University of Western Sydney and Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation Partnership event

March 19, 2015

I’d like to acknowledge the Dharawal people on whose land we are gathering this afternoon and thank Aunty Frances Bodkin, Dharawal Elder and Steering Committee member, for her Welcome to Country. I’d like to also acknowledge Dr Andrew McDonald, MP for Macquarie Fields, Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, UWS Acting Vice Chancellor and President, Steve Montgomery from […]

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Dr Sue Gordon’s speech at Rio Tinto and Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation Partnership event

March 5, 2015

‘Don’t let life change your goals, because achieving your goals can change your life.’ This quote is from a young Aboriginal man from the inland Pilbara community of Wakathuni, who graduated Year 12 at Tom Price Senior High School in 2013 and went on to study at the University of Western Australia. His dreams are […]

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Dr Sue Gordon

Working Together

The Wickham Maths and Science Centre students travelled to Hedland last year to meet the Hedland Maths and Science Centre students and participate in Engineering activities and show case their Engquest projects.

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Working Together (image 1)

Over the horizon

At ‘Over the Horizon’ this year, Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success student Grace Fletcher was invited by Donna Gibson: Esperance Horizon Power Retail and Community Manager to meet Tony McGrath, Regional Manager, Virgin Australia.

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Grace Fletcher

Students give up Holidays to study

Two students from Esperance have flouted traditional school holiday activities by attending an Indigenous Science Camp in Perth. Zachery Cahill and Niamh Moya joined other year 9 and 10 students from around the state to take part in activities at the University of WA.

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Earthwatch Student Challenge

Swan View Senior High School student Jade Harris participated in an Earth watch Student Challenge on the Great Barrier Reef in the January school holidays.

A year 11 student, Jade found it was a wonderful opportunity. “I am very passionate about the conservation of Australian wildlife, and the wellbeing of the Australian environment,” Jade said. “As a young Aboriginal woman, being connected to the land is very important to me and my cultural identity.”

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Jade Harris

Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme (PHMSS)

Ballajura Community College 2014 Graduate Amy Lang was awarded $15,000 to study nursing at Edith Cowan University through the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme.

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Governor Stirling Location News

WA’s finest Aboriginal students honoured at 2014 Rob Riley Memorial Prizes

Two of Western Australia’s best Aboriginal students have been named winners of the 2014 Rob Riley Memorial Prizes. Education and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier today announced Rossmoyne Senior High School graduate Benjamin Cable as the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) prize winner.

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Benjamin Cable at 2014 Rob Riley Memorial Prize

James Clarke (17) of Beechboro awarded WA Young Person of the Year 2014

A year 12 student at Lockridge Senior High School, James has displayed outstanding leadership and valour in making a positive change to the community. As a homosexual Aboriginal youth, James has overcome challenges and now speaks out against prejudice to create a stronger, more informed society. He was elected vice-captain of his school and has […]

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WA’s finest Aboriginal students honoured at 2014 Rob Riley Memorial Prizes

Two of Western Australia’s best Aboriginal students have been named winners of the 2014 Rob Riley Memorial Prizes. Education and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier today announced Kiara College graduate Utariah Clarke as the winner of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) prize.

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Students perform at Rio Tinto Partnership Launch

Students from the Hampton Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program performed culturally dances and spoke about their culture at the launch of the continuing partnership between the Foundation and Rio Tinto.

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First Indigenous Graduate at Dalyellup College: Graduation

Good evening I’m Slade Hayward; I have been living here in Bunbury for the past two years and I have had the honour of being the very first indigenous student to graduate from Dalyellup College, being part of the class of 2014. I was born in Joondalup, Perth on the 12th of May 1997. My Mother is from a tribe in the Gulf-Carpentaria region of the Northern territory known as Garawa and my Father comes from two different tribes, the Nyiyaparli from the Pilbara region and the Noongar from the south-west region.

During the two years of me being at Dalyellup College I have been involved in the Follow the Dream Program which has just been a huge privilege.

It is because of their great support and dedication to see me get through upper school that I have been able to graduate with good results.

The Follow the Dream has allowed me to develop relationships with my teachers/tutors, hence enabling me to focus more intensely to my studies, and I will go as far as to call them my friends.

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Slade Hayward

ASSETS (Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Teaching and Science)

Year 10 student Taimania Jones was selected to attend Assets, a fully funded program which challenges and supports participants to extend themselves academically, personally, and culturally. Download ASSETS 2014 School Report – Denmark High School  

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Taimania Jones Albany

ASSETS (Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Teaching and Science)

Two Yr. 10 students Casey Starcevich and Diego Fernandez were selected to attend Assets, a fully funded program which challenges and supports participants to extend themselves academically, personally, and culturally. Download ASSETS 2014 School Report – Northam Senior High School

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Diego Fernandez and Casey Starcevich Northam SHS

Special selection to Remember

Year 10 student Casey Starcevich will be part of history as she watches the sun rise over Gallipoli on the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landing.

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Following the Dream to Leeuwin

To the expectant crowd waiting on the B Shed wharf at Fremantle it must have been with a sense of historical re-enactment as the Leeuwin sailing ship gracefully slipped into berth. What soon became obvious to the onlookers was the feeling of camaraderie and esprit de corps between all on board as the crew and […]

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Kununurra student in France

November 5, 2014

Clarissa Bin Omar, a student from the Kununurra Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program won a Rotary Scholarship late in 2014 and is now studying in France. According to her co-ordinator Emma Lutz she is doing really well and loving it.

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Clarissa Bin Omar in France

Swim To Rotto is a Swim for Reconciliation for Lockridge Senior High School students by Libby Elphick

May 8, 2014

On Thursday the 20 February, the setting sun over the Indian Ocean provided a stunning backdrop for ten brave Lockridge Senior High School Aboriginal boys who nervously waited for their call up to the stage at the North Cottesloe Surf Club.

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Service with a smile

If you’ve been in town doing your banking lately then the chances are you may have been served by one of our friendly Follow the Dream students.

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Joining Forces

The Esperance and Albany Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success programs run a joint Career Camp to Perth every year where the students visit and liaise with a range of universities and Industry partners. The students are also building relationships with each other, which mean when the students graduate to attend university, there are more people they will know at the commencement of their higher tertiary education degrees.

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Bessie Flowers Young Australian Award

February 19, 2014

On Tuesday the 19th February fifteen-year old Kojonup girl, Katina Cox, was presented with the prestigious ‘Mt Romance Bessie Flowers Indigenous Young Australian Award’ at Albany Senior High School’s annual awards assembly.

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Broome graduate wins apprenticeship award

November 6, 2013

Broome Senior High School graduate and ex-Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success student Jonathon Falconer won the Overall Regional Apprentice at the Master Builders Apprentice of the Year Awards in Perth on Friday 1st November 2013.

Dianne Gilleland, Master Builders, Regional Manager, Geraldton & Northwest Regions offered her congratulations to the employers and supervisors for their support and thanked the young apprentices for their dedication to their work.

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Kilaywali Bookarri

April 22, 2013

In Term 2 2013, the students from the Derby program visited Broome for an overnight industry/art camp. A visit to Willie Creek Pearl Farm was enjoyed by all followed the next day by an individual art lesson with local artist Suzy French.

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Tom Price student graduates from NIDA

February 2, 2013

Shaka Cook speaks in more detail about his exceptional journey from the Pilbara Aboriginal community of Wakathuni to NIDA in Sydney. Shaka graduated from NIDA at the end of 2012 and he is now actively pursuing a career in acting while also fulfilling obligations at home.

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Shaka Cook

Student overcomes challenges and excels

June 22, 2012

Year 12 Carnarvon student Talisa Stratton started a school-based traineeship with Rio Tinto in its town office in mid-2012 and was this year offered a full time contract with the company. Talisa was determined to rise above challenges she was facing and determined to succeed as a trainee. She excelled in the workplace in all aspects including her punctuality, presentation, work ethic and interpersonal skills. On top of her excellent work performance, she was a regular attendee at the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program and worked really hard to get good school results. Talisa is a great example of a person who can “change their stars” through sheer determination and hard work, if given the opportunity to do so.

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Lockridge students receive a Letter of Thanks

October 21, 2014

The Lockridge Follow The Dream/Partnerships for Success Co-ordinator received a letter of thanks from Bayswater Primary School Principal Steve Hovitch for their attendance at the primary school to perform and conduct a workshop. The Lockridge students were notably praised both for their outstanding performance and the manner in which they conducted themselves.

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Darren Spirit Bayswater letter

Karratha students visit Canberra

May 22, 2014

Students from the Karratha Senior High school Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program visited the nation’s capital in late 2013 to learn more about Australia’s history and politics.

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Cultural Camp Creates New Leaders

May 20, 2014

Eight Aboriginal students from Karratha Senior High School spent the Easter weekend camping out bush with family, local Elders and role models learning about the richness of their cultural heritage.

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Celebrating a 15th Birthday

May 19, 2014

On a warm, Pilbara evening in early November 2102, 120 guests including local Aboriginal families, students from the Gumala Mirnuwarni Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program, corporate and government supporters and community representatives gathered to celebrate 15 years of educational achievement by local Aboriginal students.

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Hedland Students meet Chief Scientist

May 8, 2014

Aboriginal primary students from the Hedland Maths and Science Centre of Excellence visited Perth late last year and met up with Western Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Lyn Beazley (2007-2013).

Project Co-ordinator Emily Leech said the Perth science camp provided an opportunity to extend student understanding and knowledge of science through activities provided by key Perth scientific facilities, such as Perth Zoo, SciTech, AQWA, Perth Observatory, Curtin University and Kings Park.

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Students win Earthwatch Student Challenge Scholarships

November 23, 2013

Two students from the Port Augusta program were successful in winning Earthwatch Student Challenge Scholarships and travelled interstate last year to complete their challenges in assisting with scientific field research projects.

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High achiever in Muswellbrook

Petra Franks completed Year 12 in 2012 at Muswellbrook High School and has a list of achievements due to her hardwork and passion for learning.

An articulate and thoughtful student, Petra approaches all that she does in a mature way, always caring and sensitive to the needs of others. She has a passion for learning, understanding the power of knowledge, and she shares this with others. She conducts herself with dignity and with a highly developed sense of responsibility. She has been an excellent ambassador and role model at all times for the school and community.

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Petra Franks

Future beckons for promising Aboriginal students

November 13, 2013

Isaac Alexander is a young Aboriginal man who challenges himself daily to be the best he can be. He’s a high achiever who takes advantage of all the opportunities which come his way, including the chance to balance his Year 12 school work with a school based traineeship, which sees him working towards a Certificate II in Business two days a week.

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Lockridge Student nominated for Pride of Australia Award

August 23, 2013

Ex-Lockridge SHS student, and FTD participant Casey Kickett is a WA Finalist in the Young Leader Category of the Pride of Australia Medal 2013.

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Students Leading the Nation in Sydney

July 23, 2013

Governor Stirling Senior High School Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success students Tyana Hardwick and Teagan Climo spent an amazing week in Sydney recently attending the ‘Many Voices, One Future National Gathering’.

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Student’s voice is heard at local council

July 8, 2013

Belmont City College’s Follow The Dream program is always looking for suitable opportunities for their students to develop and practice leadership skills in a variety of real world settings.

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Graduate now Working with Children

January 23, 2013

Hard work, volunteering and focusing on her goals has seen John Tonkin College graduate Rebecca Pearson achieve her dreams to graduate high school and work with children. Rebecca joined the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program as a Year 11 student when she came to the College in 2011. Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success Mandurah co-ordinator Andrea Tacko said Rebecca was already showing qualities of being a caring individual with a genuine concern for those less fortunate when she joined the program.

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Jessica Continues to Shine

November 23, 2012

Jessica McCarthy joined the Port Augusta Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success in year 8 and continued her journey with the program to complete year 12 and obtain her SACE in 2012. As a year 11 student she did two school-based traineeships with the ANZ bank as well as maintaining a full study load a school. At the end of year 12 she was offered a position at the University of South Australia studying Nursing and the ANZ bank offered her a full time position. She declined both offers and took up a cadetship in Nursing at the Port Augusta Hospital. A normal week for Jessica in 2013 involves two days at the Hospital, two days part time at the ANZ bank and one day of study.

Jessica’s plans for the future are to complete her cadetship in enrolled nursing, then complete the study at University to become a registered nurse and onward to become a midwife.

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Jessica McCarthy