On 8 February 2013, Former Prime Minister, The Hon Kevin Rudd MP held a breakfast to commemorate the anniversary of the national apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The event was hosted by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales, at NSW Government House and was attended by guests including The Hon Jenny Macklin MP and other Members of Parliament.

Three AIEF graduates, Kygim, Sarah and Nahdia, attended the event and were invited to speak about what their AIEF scholarships meant to them. They spoke exceptionally well about the opportunities AIEF has provided and their plans and goals post-school.

Kygim, who graduated from Kincoppal-Rose Bay School in 2011, spoke of her desire to become a lawyer, a dream that is now within reach; “Receiving the scholarship has allowed me to get a top quality education which has opened so many doors for me and most importantly enabled me to go onto study at university – one step closer to living my dream of being a lawyer.”

Sarah’s experience is similar; she graduated from Loreto Normanhurst in 2012 and is now on track to become a primary school teacher. “Receiving an AIEF scholarship has meant everything to me. It has allowed me to grow in so many aspects of my life. For example, I came from Broome in Western Australia as an insecure young girl and was able to mature into a confident and happier young woman as the privilege of gaining a great education in Sydney allowed me to see my full potential of being a well educated young Indigenous woman,” Sarah said.

In an interview after the event, Nahdia reflected on her experience on an AIEF scholarship and boarding at St Vincent’s College, Potts Point, poignantly capturing the essence of AIEF’s mission and work; “Everyone is capable of doing well, it’s just about the support network that you have and the environment you’re in.” After her graduation in 2012, Nahdia has enrolled in a Social Work degree at university.

The graduates were very excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity to meet with dignitaries and share their stories and achievements with those who attended.

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