Eleanor is a young woman proud and grounded by her Aboriginal and Scottish heritage. Since birth she has resided in Reservoir, Wurrundjeri country where she lives with her family. She successfully completed her year twelve studies in 2016 and is proud of her achievement of earning her spot to study a Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Physiotherapy at Latrobe University.
She has partaken in many Koorie programs such as KGI REAL, KGI Netball Programs, Dreamtime, NIYLA, and Garma festival. She enjoys sport, being active, cooking and aspires to travel the world.
“Our culture constantly changes and develops”
Jordan is a proud Gunditjmara, Aranda and Wathaurong boy from Geelong. He is 18 years old who is passionate about getting real Aboriginal education into the curriculum and system of Australian society.
Jordan was awarded Mr. NAIDOC 2016 for Victoria, he also won the Young Achiever Award by his Wathaurong community in Geelong. Jordan finished year 11 at Geelong college which he then moved on to work at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne as one of the main cultural guides, telling the local stories and also sharing the knowledge of who he is and where he is from. This helps Jordan teach Aboriginal culture in a traditional way through talking and listening like his ancestors did for thousands of years. Jordan has been involved in several KGI Programs from Phase 1 to 3, has facilitated sessions such as the war cry and dance and has returned as a leader on programs.
“Phase 1 and 2 helped me connect up with other young aboriginal people and allowed me to speak up even more. The camps also pushed me to help my people, seeing some of the other kids disconnect from their culture was sad considering I was very fortunate to be brought up culturally strong. I want my people and all of Australia to be culturally strong and knowledgeable about the traditional custodians of this great land”
Troi-Saraih Ilsley is a proud Wamba Wamba and Gunditjmara young woman currently living in Melbourne. She has finished her secondary schooling and successfully completed Year 12 VCE. Troi-Saraih is now studying Criminology at Monash University, where she aspires to work in Forensics.
Troi-Saraih is young herself but she sees and understands the importance of the younger generations, hence why she is currently undergoing a Cert II in Indigenous Leadership in conjunction of the KGI Phase 3 Program, where she is able to help run and facilitate camps and sessions for young participants.
“We must always stay strong even when people are bringing us and our culture down” – Troi – Saraih Ilsley
Jessica Bennett is a proud Ngunawal woman who grew up on Wiradjuri country in Albury. In 2016 Jessica completed her HSC and in 2017 started a Bachelor of Laws at Monash University where she has been honoured to receive a Monash Indigenous Scholarship for Achievement and Equity. She was involved in her local community as Vice President of the Albury Aboriginal Youth Committee and strives to become involved in the Melbourne Indigenous community.
Jessica has been involved in the Korin Gamadji Institute for a number of years completing both Phase 1 and phase 2, attending Dreamtime camps and creating a number of short films in the Digital Storytelling Programs. She is passionate about social justice issues and human rights, especially those of Indigenous peoples, and is determined to have a career where she can make the quality of life better for other people.
“I’m optimistic now for our future because we are surrounded by passionate inspiring cultural leaders” – Jess Bennet
Ashleigh is a proud Kamilaroi woman from Reservoir in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is a 19-year-old woman who is passionate about completing her university degree in Bachelor of Nursing.
Ashleigh has achieved so much in her schooling life. She has won two Scholarship’s: the Wannik Education Scholarship and the Northcote Trust scholarship. Ashleigh finished Year 12 in 2015 completing her high school year and also receiving her year 12 VCE. She has achieved other certificates such as her Cert 3 & 4 in Allied Health Assistance, Barista certificate, First Aid and CPR. Ashleigh’s main goal and aspiration is to complete her university degree at Latrobe University- Bundoora Campus. She wants to work with the premature babies in the NICU.
“Learning more about my people / tribe from people involved in KGI that know more about it than me” – Ashleigh Burridge
Dana McDonald is a proud Gunditjmara woman who lives in north Victoria and is passionate about equal education opportunities. She completed her VCE in 2016 and is looking to further her experiences, skills and education.
Dana has been involved in a variety of leadership programs including the Korin Gamadji Institute and The Rural Youth Ambassadors, run by the Country Education Project. For the future Dana hopes she can become an inspirational leader for young people both indigenous and non-indigenous, and would like to become a teacher and even the Minister of Education or the Prime Minister.
Nakia is a proud Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and Bunitj woman from Melbourne. She had worked extensively in a range of areas including playgroup, mental health, Koorie support and education and violence prevention.
Nakia has completed year 12 VCE, along with her Certificate III in Community Services and Mental Health First Aid. She is currently working at a violence prevention organisation, Nirodah, which delivers evidence based and highly engaging respectful relationship education to students, teachers and coaches. Her role is currently website design, photography, film and assisting in the newly developed program called “Club Respect”.
Angela is a proud Latji Latji woman and is from Mildura, Victoria. She is currently in Year 12 studying her VCE. Angela is proud to have been on exchange with her school to China for two weeks in 2014. She has completed a Cert II in Retail Services at her part-time job at McDonalds. Angela hopes to go to University to study Social Work or Nursing. She aspires to help people and hopes for a better future for the Indigenous community.
Dominic is a proud South Sea Islander and Barkindji man from Mildura. Dominic graduated year 12 in 2016 at Coomealla High School. His achievements include being school vice-captain of Coomealla High School, awarded the Aboriginal achievement and citizenship award in year 12, and won a certificate for school and community services as a member of the Coomealla High School SRC council.
Kiara Baxter Mannix
Kiara Baxter Mannix is a proud Nukunu and Kokatha girl from Robinvale. She completed her schooling in 2016 and is now studying a Certificate IV in Aboriginal Health at MDAS in Mildura. She hopes to become a nurse in the future.
Kiara has been a part of the KGI for about 5 years gained a lot of knowledge and leadership skills completing the Certificate II in Indigenous Leadership. She would like to see a lot of young Indigenous kids come through KGI and get to where she is today. Kiara would also like to take her experience back to her little hometown and help the youth make something of themselves.
Lillian is a 20-year-old Darug and Kamiliroi who is currently living in Kilmore East. Lillian has been a part of the KGI program from its first program intensive in 2011. She’s been a part of many other programs with KGI including the Digital Story-Telling camps, the KGI Youth Parliament team, Learn & Earn Careers Expo, and the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Lillian came back for Phase 3 because for her, it was the next step in her KGI journey. She has been a Peer Leader and is now ready to be an “official” KGI leader. Lillian wants to support self- determination in young Indigenous people from around Victoria. She wants to support, help and aid in the development and self-esteem of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Lillian’s passion is young people and she wants to be able to help them find their voices, passions and support them on their own individual journeys.