The Gurrumul Yunupingu Foundation is very pleased to welcome former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley AC, FAA, FASSA to its board. Professor Stanley is the Founding Director and Patron of the Telethon Kids Institute, Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Western Australia, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and current board member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Her knowledge and passion for the improvement of Indigenous and child health will make a positive impact on the Gurrumul Yunupingu Foundation, which was established by Australian musician Gurrumul, as a way to give back to his community after a long career as “Australia’s most important voice”, selling over half a million copies of his albums, performing around the world and becoming a role model for Indigenous youth.
“In addition to being a Gurrumul fan because of his beautiful and spiritual singing, I am now a fan of this important foundation which will both support and inspire remote First Nations youth to succeed as he has,” said Professor Stanley. “The challenge for young Aboriginal people is to succeed in a dominant culture whilst living and knowing their own. We have evidence to show that if that can happen then their self-esteem and mental health are assured. I hope to help the Gurrumul Yunupingu Foundation succeed in their aims.”
Gurrumul’s Foundation was established in April 2013 with a vision to create greater opportunities for remote Indigenous young people, to realise their full potential and contribute to culturally vibrant and sustainable communities. Professor Stanley’s extensive training in maternal and child health, epidemiology and public health, a career of researching the causes of major childhood illnesses in Aboriginal and Caucasian populations, and research into Aboriginal social justice, will assist the Foundation in its role to identify, support and resource the development of specialised youth programs in remote Indigenous communities.
At the helm of the Foundation is a group of committed people who have received national awards for their significant contribution to Indigenous Australia. Professor Stanley (Australian of the Year 2003) will join fellow Australian of the Year finalists Michael Hohnen and Mark Grose (NT Australians of the Year 2013) on the board.
The Gurrumul Foundation has supported and will continue to develop over the next three years projects such as the Young Women’s Self Esteem Program, ‘Barunga Beats’ Music Remix Project, and the Barunga Festival Circus Project – with all three programs to be showcased at the 30th Anniversary of the Barunga Festival (Australia’s largest remote Indigenous community festival) in June 2015.
“We are delighted that Dr Fiona Stanley has accepted our invitation to join the Gurrumul Yunupingu Foundation as a Director,” said foundation chair Mark Grose. “We look forward to working with her and benefitting from her vast knowledge, corporate expertise, and extraordinary commitment to improving people’s health and wellbeing.”
The Gurrumul Foundation looks forward to sharing more information around the development and support of young Indigenous Australians in remote areas.
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