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(L-R) Moderator Rev David Baker with Maci, a student at Sunshine Coast Grammar School. Bailey, student at Unity College, Caloundra Photo: Supplied

Stepping up and into the future

Uniting Church Foundation Indigenous Learning Pathways grants have helped six Indigenous secondary students to pursue their dreams. Journey reports.

Year 11 Indigenous students Bailey of Unity College, Caloundra and Maci of Sunshine Coast Grammar School have been awarded Uniting Church Foundation Indigenous Learning Pathways grants in association with the Schools Commission.

The grants were awarded in May 2017 in the third and final round from funds raised through the $10 for 10 Appeal, an appeal within the Queensland Synod’s mission area of Indigenous Education.

Bailey, who plans to finish Year 12 so that he can fulfil his dream of working with animals, will receive funding for study resources.

“These funds will help me a lot as my mum and I do our best on our own but we struggle to afford things. My mum works two jobs to keep me in school and this would help her to give me what I need to finish school.”

Maci is planning to complete a Certificate III in fitness and to achieve her goal of representative netball. Her grant will provide academic support and fees and pay for some netball costs.

“These funds will assist me in accessing a strong netball program, complete my certificate and ensure I have the support to do it all.”

Queensland Synod marketing and fundraising manager Raushen Perera says that students from Shalom Christian College, Clayfield College and Moreton Bay College have also benefited from the project since the first round of Foundation grants in 2015.

“We have been able to assist six Indigenous students in the last three years, with funding for training and leadership courses and study resources which enhance their post-school employment prospects,” says Raushen. “These grants have been awarded on the basis of financial disadvantage, academic potential and school attendance. Thank you to all our donors for your valued support over the years.”

With the Indigenous Learning Pathways mission project coming to an end in 2017, the Foundation will no longer be accepting donations for the $10 for 10 Appeal.

“The Queensland Synod is committed to exploring exciting new project initiatives within the mission area of Indigenous Education in the future,” says Mark Bensley, executive officer of the Schools Commission.

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