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Realising my potential

AIEF Scholarship Graduate Gabrielle Ebsworth gave the following speech at AIEF Major Partner The Ireland Funds Australia’s Melbourne Luncheon on 18 May 2018.

Gabrielle completed Year 12 at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart in 2015. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne and on graduation hopes to work in community development.

I would like to open this event by acknowledging the Wurundjeri people who are the traditional custodians of the land we are gathering on today. I wish to pay my respects to them and the people of the Kulin nation. I also pay my respects to elders past, present and future, and extend that respect to any Indigenous people present today.

It gives me great honour to continue the sacred tradition of acknowledging country and I am humbled to be here today on Wurundjeri country. May we walk gently on this sacred land.

Good afternoon, my name is Gabrielle Ebsworth and I am an extremely proud Wangkumara and Barkindji woman from Narromine, NSW. I grew up on Wiradjuri country quite far away from where we are today but currently attend the University of Melbourne where I study a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in politics and sociology. Upon graduating, I want to go on in Indigenous community development and self determination.

My hopes and aspirations would not have been possible without the amazing work of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, AIEF, who are proudly supported by The Ireland Funds Australia.

I grew up in a town where people are born, live and die in one place, but I had much bigger aspirations than that.

These aspirations were realised when I got the opportunity to attend Kincoppal Rose Bay in Sydney on an AIEF boarding school scholarship. It was there that I made amazing friends, had amazing experiences like attending AIEF report launches and realised my love of helping my people.

I am the first person in my family to go on to higher education, and to know that I have inspired and helped my younger siblings and cousins realise that they can be more than just a statistic, is and will always be my greatest achievement.

I believe that positive role models make all the difference in the lives of young people and I am humbled to be surrounded by so many. Like my aunt, who when I called saying that I wanted to go away for school, did research and called up just about every school on AIEF’s list. She also filled out the 23 page admission form on the plane ride.

Without AIEF and the amazing work they do, I might not have realised my potential so have faith that the money being spent is going to an amazing cause. It is going to young men and women like me who will go on to lead a generation of love and change. So on behalf of AIEF and all the students who have benefited from this widely influential program, I say thank you to The Ireland Funds Australia and other supporters who are here today.

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Our children must have the highest level of education to never forget who they are whilst taking their minds and talents to the highest level.

Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM
Chairman, Yothu Yindi Foundation


The AIEF Scholarship Program and the AIEF Pathways Program are supported by the Australian Government in collaboration with individual, philanthropic and corporate supporters from the private sector.