As Victoria celebrates NAIDOC Week, Richmond and the Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI) congratulate three outstanding female KGI alumni who were recognised with NAIDOC Awards or nominations last week.

Fittingly, this year’s theme for NAIDOC Week is ‘Because of her we can’, and the KGI is proud of its female program alumni for being recognised as positive community role models.

Yorta Yorta women, Isabella Atkinson was crowned 2018 Ms. Vic NAIDOC, and Hayley Boehm received the 2018 NAIDOC Sports Person of the Year, while Wurundjeri-Wilam woman Ky-Ya Ward was also nominated for Sports Person of the Year.

The Ms. Vic NAIDOC award is dedicated to acknowledging a young person and their contribution, participation, knowledge, and leadership in their communities.

Atkinson is a KGI REAL Program alumni and 2018 KGI Youth Parliament member, she is also actively involved in the community and currently completing Year 12 studies.

The Vic NAIDOC Sports Award acknowledges outstanding sporting achievement and contribution to culture.

Boehm, 17, is currently completing Year 12 studies and has participated in KGI REAL Programs, Lagunta Sisters Netball Program and the inaugural AFL Indigenous Boorimul program, and also plays football for Grovedale Tigers and Geelong Falcons.

“I aspire to play AFLW, or I want to become a Youth Worker and run programs for children of diverse backgrounds or with different needs,” Boehm said.

In her nomination for the award, Bohem is described as an “inspirational young Aboriginal athlete who is passionate about supporting all walks of life through sport, especially aspiring athletes with disabilities.”

Ky-Ya Ward also has aspirations to play AFLW, and is passionate about inspiring the younger generation of Indigenous girls. She participates in the KGI’s Boorimul program as well as playing football locally.

Upon receiving the NAIDOC Awards, Boehm and Atkinson attend and participate in the official NAIDOC events including flag raising ceremony, Women who mean Business breakfast, NAIDOC March and NAIDOC Ball.

KGI Director, Aaron Clark congratulated the three young women for their awards or nominations.

“We’re rapt for our young people to be recognised for their leadership and contribution to the Victorian community,” Clark said.

“We have such quality young people coming through the KGI, excelling in our programming, and developing into positive community leaders.”

The two award recipients will also attend Richmond’s Reconciliation Action Plan launch on Friday afternoon at the Club.

The KGI opened its doors in 2011, and has since held over 50 leadership and cultural strengthening programs, with over 1000 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants taking part.

2018 NAIDOC Sports Person of the Year, Hayley Boehm with Aunty Pam Pederson