WA Education Department

“The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation has been working in partnership with the Department of Education to administer and sponsor the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program since 1997. The program is considered to be one of the most significant secondary school retention programs for Aboriginal students ever implemented in Western Australia. There are currently over 700 Aboriginal students across metropolitan and regional Western Australia benefiting from the Foundation’s support. With a strong focus on increasing the number of Aboriginal students completing Year 12; improving their literacy and numeracy levels; and ensuring that high level achievement in education becomes an expected outcome, the Foundation, through the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program, is having a positive effect on the lives of many young Aboriginal people. The partnership demonstrates what can be achieved when government and philanthropic organisations work together. The partnership between the Foundation and the Department has provided, and will continue to provide, Aboriginal students with the education and skills they require to achieve their aspirations. Through partnership comes success.”

David Axworthy
Deputy Director General
Schools Department of Education Western Australia

Department of Education


“At BHP we are proud to support the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation’s Follow the Dream programs in our host communities across the country. Our support also extends to the Primary Learning Clubs, the Martu Education Centre in Newman and the Maths and Science Centre of Excellence in South Hedland. These programs combined are currently supporting 398 Indigenous students.

Our long standing partnership with the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, along with the Department of Education, has been running for 14 years and has provided significant benefits to those involved.

By the end of 2016 BHP sites alone had a total of 414 Year 12 students graduating from the Follow the Dream program since its inception in 2003. 43 per cent of the Follow the Dream graduates had gone onto University either directly or via a bridging course. 34 per cent on to TAFE, a traineeship or an apprenticeship and 10 per cent into direct employment.

BHP is proud of our ability to provide opportunities through our Social Investment Portfolio and our commitment to education has never been stronger. Education is the ultimate gift in life and BHP, in partnership with the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, is committed to providing an education legacy: one where all young people are able to access a quality education and meaningful careers.”

Edgar Basto

Asset President Iron Ore


Rio Tinto

“When the Foundation’s first programme was established in 1997, Rio Tinto’s Hamersley Iron business was very different to what we see today, consisting of six mines across the Pilbara producing less than 60 million tonnes per annum. That year marked a step-change in the relations between resource companies and Indigenous people when we signed the Yandi Land Use Agreement with the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation. The first students were welcomed into the Gumala Mirnuwarni programme in Roebourne and Karratha, also in 1997. Today, Rio Tinto’s iron ore business has grown to a network of 15 mines. Recent expansions provide us with the capacity to produce 290 million tonnes of iron ore annually. We are the largest private employer of Aboriginal people in Western Australia, and continue to develop industry leading comprehensive agreements with Pilbara Traditional Owners. Importantly, the depth and scope of our partnership with The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation has also strengthened. It extends beyond the Pilbara, through our Argyle Diamonds and Dampier Salt businesses. The Foundation’s work in New South Wales is also supported by our Coal and Allied business. At the heart of all the programmes however, remains a commitment for our business to do the right thing. To create meaningful, sustainable partnerships underpinned by respect and cultural understanding. The Foundation and its students have achieved remarkable results. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the journey.”

Chris Salisbury
Chief Executive – Iron Ore

Rio Tinto


“Woodside’s vision for reconciliation is to walk alongside the local Indigenous community in a relationship of mutual respect, to provide opportunities that contribute towards the community’s aspirations of a sustainable future. Our support of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation is just one example of how Woodside, our joint venture participants in the North West Shelf Project and the Indigenous community are working together to make a difference for young Aboriginal people through education. The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation is helping Aboriginal students realise their potential by providing them with supportive pathways to follow their dreams, including the Gumala Mirnuwarni (Coming Together to Learn) Follow the Dream program. Woodside, as operator of the North West Shelf Project, has supported the Gumala Mirnuwarni program in Karratha and Roebourne since 1997. This innovative program has achieved great improvements in educational outcomes and ultimately employment opportunities for young Aboriginal people. The ongoing success of the program has led to Woodside supporting Follow the Dream in Broome. We look forward to many years of working together to provide future opportunities for the next generation of students.”

Peter Coleman
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

North West Shelf Project

“As operator of the North West Shelf Project facilities, Woodside is committed to developing and maintaining strong relationships with the communities in which we operate. With input from the Indigenous community, we invest in programs and resources in the Shire of Roebourne which are identified as being important to their ongoing growth and wellbeing. Increasing Indigenous employment at Woodside and providing opportunities for Indigenous enterprises to obtain contracts through the Woodside procurement process are commitments we take very seriously. We are proud to support the Gumala Mirnuwarni program which helps Indigenous students to achieve their potential. Since the North West Shelf Project’s support commenced in 1997, this innovative program has achieved significant improvements in educational outcomes for Indigenous students. Gumala Mirnuwarni increases pathways to employment by helping to attract, retain and provide support for students to succeed at high school. We commend the achievements of Gumala Mirnuwarni participants and the results the program has produced.”

Niall Myles
Senior Vice President
North West Shelf Project

North West Shelf Project

AMP Foundation

“A child’s future will invariably be brighter if they have access to the education they deserve. It’s a sure step in breaking the cycle of disadvantage and plays a key role in our happiness, wellbeing and financial security, both now and in the future. Through the AMP Foundation, AMP supports innovative charities which encourage and support disadvantaged young people to value education and get the most out of their schooling – something which the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation does exceptionally well. We’ve been funding the Follow the Dream program at three locations in metropolitan Perth since 2008 and each has numerous stories of success to tell. Through these programs, many young Indigenous people have surpassed their own expectations; completing school, progressing to university or TAFE, taking up apprenticeships or traineeships and ultimately on to careers where they can prosper. It is heartening to know that many of the young Indigenous people who pass through Graham (Polly) Farmer’s program will challenge expectations and become the next generation of leaders and working Australians in their communities.”

Craig Meller
Managing Director
AMP Financial Services


Sara Halvedene Foundation

“The Sara Halvedene Foundation (SHF) was established in June 2005 to support the environment and Indigenous health. Its goal is to assist Australians in developing a more equitable and sustainable country. The key to achieving this goal is education. With this goal and the critical role of education in mind, our Directors were delighted in early 2009 when the Foundation formed a partnership with the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation (GPFF) in support of their Muswellbrook Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success Program. This has been a very successful program to engage with Indigenous students in the Muswellbrook region (NSW) to enhance their chances of successfully completing high school and going on to gain trade or tertiary qualifications and employment. In addition, SHF has provided support for students involved in the various GPFF Partnerships for Success Programs to take part in scientific field work with the Earthwatch Institute to experience environmental science at first hand. SHF is committed to a long-term partnership with GPFF to provide opportunities and challenges to Indigenous students to assist them to achieve their full potential.”

Dr Denis A Saunders AM
Sara Halvedene Foundation

Sara Halvedene Foundation