Indigenous Student Program
The Indigenous Student Program began at Christ Church over a decade ago with four students from Broome and Halls Creek. The program, now with more than a dozen boys from across the State, continues to provide Indigenous students with excellent educational opportunities that ultimately lead to positive outcomes for the boys, their communities and the Christ Church community.
The Indigenous Student Program grew from an association between Christ Church teacher and then WAFL coach John Dimmer, and Garnduwa, an Aboriginal sporting and community organisation based in the Kimberley. The School saw an opportunity to offer boys, who were recognised as potential leaders in their communities, a chance to attend Christ Church. The relationship between Christ Church and Garnduwa was eventually cemented through Garnduwa Chief Executive Officer Alan Bishop, its Kimberley Regional Program Manager Michael Albert, and former Headmaster Garth Wynne.
Each year, Christ Church staff and selected Year 11 students are invited to attend Garnduwa’s annual Indigenous Youth Leadership Camps. The camps bring boys together from the East and West Kimberley regions seen as future role models within their communities. The goal is to develop leadership among the Indigenous boys and make them aware of the pathways available. The camps also provide Christ Church students with invaluable insights into life in the Kimberley and traditional Aboriginal culture and activities. These experiences and relationships are then used to help new Indigenous students adjust to life at school in Perth.
On arrival at Christ Church, boys are welcomed into the Walters Residential Community by the Indigenous Student Program Co-ordinator Michael Ralph, whose role is to mentor the boys and to assist them in making their transition and integration into the Christ Church community a smooth and positive one. He then guides the boys towards the educational opportunities on offer and supports them in a number of ways. These include additional academic support; organising flights; scholarship support and funding application assistance; developing pathways and acting as a liaison between the boys, elders, their families and school staff. Mr Ralph plays a central role in the scholarship application process and in developing greater cultural awareness and professional development opportunities for staff.
If you are interested in providing financial support for this vital scholarship program, please contact Director of Philanthropy Carolyn Turner on 9442 1542. The Christ Church Grammar School Indigenous Scholarship Fund is tax-deductible and provides direct support to an Indigenous student.
For further information about the program, please contact Michael Ralph on 9442 1761 or at firstname.lastname@example.org