It is an honour to be meeting on the lands of the Nunna-wal and Nyambri people. I acknowledge the First Australians as the traditional custodians of this land, and acknowledge that their cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history. I pay respect to Elders past and present and extend our welcome to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are with us today.

Our purpose today is to  introduce you to the GO Foundation, to share with you our story, how we provide public school scholarships to Indigenous students, the wrap around support we provide to our students. We want to introduce you to the GO Ecosystem. and why we believe our scholarships provide a mechanism for real systems change in the area of Indigenous advancement.

You have heard from a number of speakers this morning about the unique model that the GO Foundation provides.  With an unrelenting focus on culture, we believe that our model of support and scholarship for Indigenous students is about empowering and strengthening our students ability to bring their authentic selves to everything they do.  To retain their connection to the land, but to dance in two cultures. Our model is all about working with our students, with their families, with their schools and with community to strengthen their understanding  of their own heritage and their place in this country.

On the business end, we aim to keep admin costs low. We also have one of the best NFP boards in the country and amongst our board members we chair and sit on ASX 50 boards and other listed boards around the country. We have  put in place strong corporate governance and we work to make our governance stronger. We also aim to constantly iterate our model based on data and research.

GO is based on the vision of two proud Aboriginal men who conduct themselves always with integrity and honour. We put the culture of our students at the heart of everything we do and we believe strongly in the public school scholarship model.

Our GO Ecosystem, is a partnership with corporate Australia, government, Indigenous organisations, educational partners and community – where GO does not reinvent the wheel and try to do everything ourselves but draws on partners like GHD to provide the support that they are best in class in – STEM training, leadership training, coding classes, mentoring, career support, internships, work experience. We work with organisations like CareerTrackers and AIME to support our students on their journey from Kindergarten to Employment.

Once a GO Scholar Always  a GO Scholar.  So we support our students beyond the financial assistance that is only an entry point to the GO Ecosystem.

We all want better outcomes for our Indigenous students. We want to move to language of empowerment where we do everything to support Indigenous students to complete further education. Where they are empowered to change their future.

We want to celebrate successes and that is why we think that GO offers something unique.

Talks like this are always difficult – you’re listening to many people talk and afterwards you wonder what you heard.  So there are 3 key messages we would like you to take away with you:

  1. The GO Ecosystem – it’s a collaboration between different parts of the community and most importantly with corporate Australia, putting their know how and money on the line.Students are supported from Kindy through to employment to be the best that they can be. We walk alongside them, we work with them and we show them how to be empowered to change their own future.
  2. Cost of scholarships – For every one year of a boarding scholarship, GO can provide 100 primary school scholarships or 20 high school scholarships. comparison to boarding scholarships; $2,500 in high school and $500 in primary school. That gives us the ability to work with more students.
  3. This is about strengthening the Indigenous voice. We have access to a rich tapestry of culture and heritage here in Australia. We want our Indigenous students to not feel like they have to choose between their connection to their culture and education. We want our students to be empowered to bring their Indigenous voice, we want to radically rethink what it means to walk side by side and through our rigorous commitment to culture, we think we can create that change – that new way of educating out students from which we can all gain.