On a cold and wet day, the Podmore Foundation welcomed its supporters and scholarship recipients and proudly presented scholarships to its eight scholarship recipients for 2016. The guest speaker, Melinda Mitchell, a lawyer for the Royal Australian Air Force, gave a powerful speech on her experiences with education, and working with indigenous communities. Scholarship certificates were presented by Major General Roger Powell (Ret’d).
Podmore’s Acting President, Mike Goodyer gave the following opening remarks to the audience.
May I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet, the Nunnagwal and Nagambie peoples. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and future. We have recently commemorated Reconciliation Week and once again have been reminded of the importance of achieving a fully reconciled Australia.
It is a great honour for me to welcome Major General Roger Powell Retired and his wife, Rhonda. Roger will be presenting certificates to the scholarship recipients this afternoon. Roger has been a great supporter of the work of the Podmore Foundation for a number of years. He and Rhonda host all of our functions here at the Royal Canberra Golf Club. Without their support we would not be able to afford this tremendous location.
May I take this opportunity to acknowledge and welcome representatives from our implementing partners. Karen Harvey and Liz Hayes are here from Yalari. Karen is the National Director of Student Support and has travelled for Helensvale in south east Queensland to be with us. Liz is based on Orange and is the NSW-ACT Yalari student support officer.
Mrs Anne Coutts, Principal, Canberra Girls Grammar School, has been a great supporter for Podmore’s work. From her arrival to take up her appointment in 2010 she understood the importance of Yalari and Podmore’s work. She joined with the Podmore Foundation last year to celebrate the graduation of Larissa Woosup, Yalari and Podmore’s first graduate from Canberra Girls Grammar School.
For the first time we have a scholarship recipient attending the Canberra Grammar School as a day student who will be receiving his certificate today. This is our first Podmore scholarship under a Memorandum of Agreement with a local ACT school. We are exploring similar arrangements with Canberra Girls Grammar School and Burgmann Anglican School, Gungalin. Welcome to Jennie Holbrook, who is representing Canberra Grammar School today, and her husband, David.
Several years ago Podmore developed a relationship with the Solids Indigenous cultural group here in Canberra. The involvement of our scholarship recipients in learning about and being proud of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, as well as their contribution to Solids as young leaders, is of great mutual benefit. Welcome to those from Solids, Brad Moggridge, Richie Allen, Peter White and Melissa Bulger, as well as Melinda, our guest speaker whose four children all participate in the Solids program.
I am very pleased to welcome Melinda Mitchell and her son. I will introduce her in more detail before she speaks later on. Melinda is the mother of four children and works as a lawyer for the Royal Australian Air Force, so we can all appreciate the effort she is making to be with us this afternoon.
Finally, may I recognise and thank members of the Podmore Foundation Board who are all unremunerated volunteers who fit Podmore work in their busy lives, may I ask you to stand and identify yourselves so that anyone who wishes to know more about Podmore can chat with you during the afternoon – David Retter Secretary, Beth Mallett Treasurer, Taryn Johnson, Assistant Treasurer, Neil Greet, Membership Secretary, Julie Gilfillan, benefactor, Katherine Meagher, Communications and Public Relations, and Bob Breen, Development.
We are gathered today to affirm seven young Indigenous Australians who are recipients of scholarships in 2016. Unfortunately, family commitments and ill health has prevented two scholarship recipients from attending today. Aubrey, who is in Year 11 at St Ignatius College, Riverview and Lyric, who is in Year 12 at Canberra Girls Grammar School. Mia, Isabella, Sarah-Cait, Angelina and Kye are with us today to receive their certificates.
May I acknowledge Kye’s parents, Brad and Karen, and his two grandmothers, Monica and Colleen, and favourite sister Miah, who are with us today.
Welcome as well to representatives from our philanthropic partners, KPMG-Canberra, Col Thorne and his wife Helen, ADFA representatives, as well as scholarship benefactors, donors and supporters.
Representing our new initiatives to broaden our scholars to local Indigenous children who display determination to achieve their full potential, I will conclude my welcome by acknowledging Djanaya, Madison and PJ who are candidates for Podmore scholarships at the two grammar schools in Canberra in 2017. Welcome to Melissa and Vanessa who are Djanaya and Madison’s mothers respectively, as well as to Vince and Pat Bulger, Djanaya’s grandparents, and to Peter and Kelly who are PJ’s Mum and Dad. Today they can learn more about us and we can learn more about them, so please make them welcome.
For those here who are new to the Podmore Foundation, welcome to you, and we trust that you will enjoy your afternoon with us.
Scholarships for 2016
After Mike’s address, Podmore was delighted to present scholarship certificates to four of our seven scholarship recipients. (Unfortunately, Sarah-Cait, Aubrey and Lyric were unable to make the event.)
- Kye - Year 7 – Kye enrolled at Canberra Grammar School in Year 7 this year as a day student. He is the inaugural recipient of a full Podmore scholarship in conjunction with a local ACT independent school. Kye participates enthusiastically in Rugby Union as a member of the Canberra Grammar School’s U 12 First Division team. Through his quiet leadership and physical courage he has already begun to make his mark.
- Angelina – Year 9 – Angie completed Year 8 last year and returned in January for Year 9 at Canberra Girls Grammar School. Angelina has involved herself in a wide range of sports and other activities. She has developed a wide circle of friends due to her friendly and outgoing nature. She is a keen competitive netballer and also referees games. She plays water-polo at the Australian Institute of Sport and this year continued to row for the school, completing another successful summer season. She competes as a solo rower, as well as in crews.
- Isabella – Year 10 – Isabella made a conscious effort to get involved with the life of the school and explore new sporting experiences. She plays netball and basketball with great enthusiasm and commitment. Isabella excels at languages and has received double As for Japanese language assessments. Podmore sponsored her to a language immersion trip to Japan last year. She is applying for a five month exchange to Japan for next year.
- Mia – Year 12 – Mia is in her sixth year at Canberra Girls Grammar School. She is a warm, generous, compassionate and humourous person who has kept herself busy in a wide range of school and sporting activities. Mia has applied for an ADF gap year opportunity in 2017 and aspires to join the Royal Australian Navy. This year, Mia received the Professor Mick Dodson AM and the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC Scholarship for Leadership for the second time in a row.
Congratulations to all of our scholarship recipients, and thank you to our supporters and benefactors. See all of our scholarship recipients at the following link: Scholarship Recipients for 2016
More photos of the event are available at the following link, thanks to official Podmore Foundation photographer Peter Breen: Scholarship Presentation Lunch 2016 Photos