Published on: 28 May 2020

“I carry deep gratitude to the donors who gifted me my Christ Church education,” says 2017 old boy Lewis Henry on reflection of his journey at Christ Church Grammar School.

“My Indigenous Scholarship to Christ Church not only provided me with the opportunity to discover and develop who I am, it has helped give me a sense of purpose and armed me with the skills to be world-ready.”

Like many new high school graduates, Lewis Henry had plans to follow a pathway into the tertiary sector. However, after commencing studies towards a sports teaching qualification, plans changed several times before Lewis’ connection to land called.

“I wanted to attend Christ Church well before I started in 2013. Garnduwa Leadership Camps were an important part of my upbringing and it is through them I was able to meet Christ Church boys and teachers who travelled each year to be part of the program,” says Lewis.

With family connections in the Kimberley, and past work experience in the region, Lewis headed north to find his niche. An opportunity to return to work at Garnduwa gave Lewis the chance to connect with young people in the community through the medium of sport.

As the Community Development Officer in Fitzroy Crossing, he stepped out of his comfort zone to learn new skills such as the delivery of presentations and logistics of running sports clinics for multiple sporting codes. Across eight local communities he trained adults in how to coach the children, with his work impacting boys and girls from primary to middle school.

When recounting the highlights of his time working at Garnduwa, Lewis says, “I really wanted to develop my confidence and people skills and what better place than the land of my people. I’m a proud floongar Punaba Djru man and, because of my amazing education and the opportunities given to me at Christ Church, I wanted to be a role model to the kids in Fitzroy Crossing. I wanted to show them that education can change lives, as well as stress the importance of them continuing their studies. It was a great chance to give back to a community that has given me a great start in life.”

Lewis has recently returned to Perth in pursuit of a career mentoring and connecting with young people and has not yet given up on his dream of playing elite football in the future.

If you would like to help a young Indigenous man unlock his full learning potential, click here to find out how.