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QATSIF Scholarship Presentation.

28/02/2013
Principal Alan Whitfield pictured with scholarship winners, Year 12 - James Cartwright
Year 11 - Jordanna Ghee, Juwan Eggmolesse, Mikalya Davis, Megan McKeon, Shayla Cartwright
On Monday 18 February, Alan Whitfield proudly recognised six students who were accepted into the Queensland Certificate of Education Scholarship Support Program.
On November 2008, an educational trust known as the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation (QATSIF) was created to advance the education and life opportunities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Queensland through the provision and promotion of scholarships.
QATSIF patron, Aunty Ruth Hegarty writes passionately about her personal experience as a member of the ‘Stolen Wages’ and the generational affect this has had on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
The loss of wages created considerable stress for our Elders who felt they had been robbed, considering the years spent in employment and sometimes far away from families.
“In support of all unclaimed monies, I believe the move to set up the Foundation by Government is a way of making sure our children benefit and achieve greatness in higher education of which we, the Elders, were deprived.
Because of our struggle, knowledge and experiences we entrust you with the gift of education to take you, the First Nations young people forward. Empowering you will give precedence to future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders,” Ruth says.
Gary Highland, National Director, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation says “When I was in school, I was told that Australia developed on the sheep’s back.  I now know that it developed on the backs of thousands of Aboriginal men, women and children.”
Acceptance into the Scholarship Program requires significant commitment from the recipients not only to successfully obtain their Queensland Certificate of Education but to the generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people who were denied the opportunity for education and improvement by the withholding of wages.