The Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI) celebrated its journey and program alumni of the past seven years with the KGI Awards and End of Year celebration in the Maurice Rioli Room at the Swinburne Centre, Punt Road Oval on Thursday afternoon.
Nine participants received awards for their outstanding participation and contribution to various KGI programs.
The KGI Awards, presented in partnership with Tandem, was a celebration and reflection of the KGI’s work and impact on its participants, community and partners since it opened its doors in 2011, to support young Indigenous people to Grow and Emerge.
Wurundjeri man, Dr Andrew Peters, Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology opened the event with an Acknowledgement to Country to the 250 KGI participants, representatives from seven partners, and community stakeholders in the room.
Awards were presented to outstanding participants of the Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership (REAL) Programs, the Laguntas and Boorimul programs – the junior male and female football programs delivered in partnership with AFL Victoria, and the Laguntas Sisters Netball Program, delivered in partnership with Netball Victoria.
Sixteen-year-old Anaika Havea, a proud Narungga woman, with Tongan and New Zealander heritage claimed the REAL MVP Award for her contribution to the various KGI programs she has participated in.
Hailing from Dandenong, Victoria, and described by her peers as a caring, energetic and talented young leader, Ms. Havea has been engaging with the KGI since July 2017.
She has participated in two leadership programs, the Boorimul Female Football program, and was a member of the KGI Youth Parliament team this year.
Accepting her award, Ms. Havea said that being with the KGI has been an important and unforgettable experience for her any many others.
“My experiences with KGI has helped me better myself as a person through gaining confidence and leadership skills to be the proud Aboriginal woman that I am today,” Ms. Havea said.
“Learning about culture and self-identity is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you’re at the age when you start to think and question who you are, but KGI take you under their wing and help you through that process of knowing who you are and where you belong.”
KGI Director, Aaron Clark said he was incredibly proud and overawed with the talent and energy at the event.
“It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm and leadership of the young people in the room,” Clark said.
“Since the KGI opened its doors in 2011, we’ve had over 1300 young people come through our doors to participate in programs. To see how far they’ve come on their journey’s, and to also be part of the evolution of the KGI’s journey is really special and inspiring.”
“On behalf of the KGI, we’d like to congratulate our program participants and leaders, and thank our partners and the community for their support in helping us to deliver meaningful programs to our emerging Indigenous leaders.”
KGI 2018 Award’s recipients
Joshua Nanson, 16, Wangaratta
Nathan Muir, 17, Shepparton, Wiradjuri
Josiah Kyle, 17, Carrum Downs, Yidinji
Mietta Scarlett, 18, Geelong, Yamatji
Maddy Bell, 19, Frankston, Arrente
Thomas “Junior” Bradshaw, 17, Briagolong (originally Halls Creek, NT), Kidja and Jaru
Chey McCumber, 18, Melbourne, Yorta Yorta
Tahlia Cooper, 18, Shepparton, Yorta Yorta
Anaika Havea, 16, Dandenong, Narungga