Former Northam boy and Graham Polly Farmer Foundation Follow the Dream student Kienan Davis was the worthy recipient of the 2018 Rob Riley Memorial Prize, presented by the Minister for Education Sue Ellery at Parliament House last week.
The Rob Riley Memorial Prize is awarded to the leading public school Aboriginal Year 12 Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) student and Vocational Education and Training (VET) student.
Kienan graduated from Belmont City College last year, which is a Follow the Dream: Partnerships for Success site co-managed by the Graham Polly Farmer Foundation and the Department of Education, and partnered with BHP.
“As a young Aboriginal boy, my early years were spent growing up in Northam where my teachers were my grandparents and aunties,” Kienan said.
“That all changed when my parents decided to move the family to Perth so that my brothers and I could get a good education, ensuring we could have the best opportunities in our future.”
Kienan struggled to fit in and said his primary school years saw him struggle with authority.
“I was pretty unhappy until I was encouraged to join “Follow the Dream”, a program for Aboriginal students striving for academic excellence,” he said.
“Here I really found myself, met like-minded people and was able to be myself. Most importantly, I started to believe that I could achieve great things and my desire to get the best education I could became my focus.”
“I spent thousands of hours in the FTD room since year 8 and I went from being a scared little boy to a strong, capable Aboriginal leader. FTD became my “other” family and I am proud to inspire the younger FTD kids to reach their potential and believe they can follow their dreams too.”
Along with the prize, Kienan received a cheque for $5000 to assist with his studies to become a paramedic.