Indigenous Scholarship Leadership Conference

First Nations students from across Queensland came together at the Shell office in Brisbane for an exciting day of networking, leadership workshops and celebration.

The day began with a networking breakfast and a welcome from Godson Njoku, Senior Vice President East, Shell Australia. Godson spoke from personal experience of how hard work and persistence leads to success. Guests were delighted to make introductions with fellow scholarship recipients and were eager to see what the day ahead held.

“Today is about recharging their batteries and opening their minds to new opportunities,” said Indigenous Operations Advisor at Shell’s QGC business, Thomas Draper.

“Everybody needs that first opportunity to get started and once they reach success that creates a ripple on affect for the whole community.”

Throughout the day, students heard from guest presenters Toni Janke, Melisa Anderson, Troy Cook and Waalitj and Shell’s QGC business staff. The day was rich with information and knowledge, with a focus on leadership, perseverance, empowerment and cultural identity.

“Receiving this scholarship was a massive vote of confidence for me, knowing that a panel of professionals believed in me was huge,” said scholarship recipient, Cameron Gooda.

“Attending the conference has been awesome, I have taken so many notes that I hope to apply to my university studies. I have finished the day feeling so inspired.”

The day culminated in a presentation dinner held at First Nations-owned venue, Birrunga Gallery. Buzzing from the day’s events, students enjoyed Australian native inspired cuisine while hearing from keynote speaker Amanda Healy, founder and chief executive of two businesses, Warrikal, a mechanical maintenance business, and Kirrikin, a luxury fashion label.

“The opportunity to bring all of our scholarship recipients together for the conference has been so rewarding,” said Waalitj Program Manager, Leann Carsburg.

“The recipients are such a high calibre group of individuals who are going to make exceptional First Nations leaders and role models.”

The Indigenous Scholarship Program delivered by the Waalitj Foundation in partnership with Shell’s QGC business aims at increasing the number of First Nations Australians with tertiary and trade qualifications.

The program is facilitated by local First Nations mentors who utilise their contextual and cultural understanding to provide individual mentoring for each participant. The program aims to enhance employment outcomes and create greater opportunities for First Nations people, particularly in the resources sector.

For more information about the Indigenous Scholarship Program, click here.

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