One of the biggest challenges facing Australian Indigenous leaders is the opportunity to develop and grow as leaders within the community. By providing bursaries for leaders to attend and present at a key development conference, this project allows indigenous and non-indigenous Australians to learn from one another, mentor one another and gives voice to indigenous perspectives which would be otherwise missed. In addition, exposure of emerging leaders to wider development issues is a critical component of raising up the next generation of leaders. Each conference participant will be assisted to attend the conference, but will also contribute towards their costs.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
We believe in the power of relationships. Sending more money to ‘help’ the indigenous population is not the most effective way to meet the heart need. Indigenous people thrive when in relationship and learn through exposure and connection with others.
Previous initiatives like this have proven to have a profound effect on those who can participate. This is not a hand out, rather a hand up, to support those who have shown initiative and have been hand-picked as potential community leaders.
This is Entrust’s second year of involvement with our implementing partners. Last year’s involvement allowed Indigenous leaders to attend the event who had never been before and would not have been able to afford to attend otherwise. Two such leaders reported that the event helped connect them to a wider network of indigenous leaders, and encouraged them to persevere as leaders in difficult circumstances, and facilitated opportunities to share with non-indigenous participants who are also passionate about helping the marginalised.
In addition, participation at the event has lead to the development of an international indigenous people’s network – further expanding the benefits of our bursaries.
Funds will be used to provide bursaries to over 100 current and emerging indigenous leaders from various communities across Australia. The bursaries will assist with travel and accommodation. Due to the remote location of many communities, the bursaries are not a set price, but based on a proportion of each person’s actual costs.
Indigenous leaders and emerging leaders often work in difficult circumstances, and can face isolation and discouragement around issues of social justice, inclusive society and development. They also often work on shoe-string budgets with everything going to their work and very little left over for personal development. By providing an opportunity to network with others working in the same or similar fields, they are able to be refreshed, gain and share new perspectives and step back from the detail to see the bigger picture. They can form networks and gather resources for ongoing work.
Bursary recipients will:
(All images used with permission, © Matthew Deutscher Oak & Ink Creative)