The Meriden Indigenous Bursary is a fund and organisation dedicated to the financial support of Indigenous girls from the remote community of Ti Tree (200km north of Alice Springs) to facilitate their education at the school. Currently, there are three girls from Ti Tree undertaking study at Meriden.
Indigenous Bursary Committee
The Meriden Indigenous Bursary Committee is coordinated by former Meriden students and Meriden staff who share a passion for education and social justice.
Since its establishment in 2008, the Bursary has continued to grow and has coordinated a range of awareness and fundraising activities within the Meriden and wider communities.
On 31 October 2013, the Committee held an awareness and fundraising event on the topic of ‘Remote Indigenous Education – Insights and Experiences’, which featured:
- A keynote address from Mr Noel Pearson, leading Indigenous lawyer and activist and Founder and Strategic Director of the Institute of the Cape York Partnership;
- An address from Ms Malarndirri McCarthy, former Member for Arnhem, NT, journalist and Indigenous advocate, and;
- A panel discussion with other renowned leaders and representatives in the area.
The event was attended by over 400 people and raised over $10,000 for the Bursary. It was an engaging, moving and thought-provoking evening for all in attendance.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback received after the event, the Committee held a second forum on 4 September 2014 on the topic of: ‘Getting to Year 12 - Support for Indigenous students throughout High School.’ The evening featured:
- A keynote address from The Hon Bess Price, Minister for Women in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly;
- An address from Ms Karla Grant, Producer and Presenter of popular SBS series ‘Living Black’.
- A chaired Panel discussion with Indigenous and non-Indigenous female representatives and experts in education.
It was wonderful to see representatives from the local community, students, teachers and politicians in attendance to discuss the importance of remote Indigenous education for girls and to support the program at Meriden. The Forum raised approximately $5,000 towards the continued activity of the Bursary.
Several eminent politicians expressed their support and best wishes for the Fora, including the Hon PM Mr Tony Abbott who sent his apologies, but asked the Hon Mr Craig Laundy, Member for Reid, to attend both events on his behalf.
Other highlights over the last few years include:
- The creation of a new Meriden Indigenous Bursary logo. The Committee, in conjunction with the Senior Prefects, invited Senior School students to submit designs for a new Bursary logo and were proud to award the winning design to Sophie Laundy and Jessica Bader (Year 10).
- Distribution of a targeted mail campaign to approximately 2,600 members of the Meriden ‘Old Girls’ network, with the aim of raising awareness of the Bursary within the wider school community and inviting recipients to contribute towards the girls’ educational experience at Meriden.
- Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2015, with students participating in activities with traditional art, learning some Walpiri words and sharing experiences and stories from Ti Tree.
2015: A Milestone Year
In 2015, the Bursary was honoured to celebrate a milestone in Indigenous education. Anthea Joe, a student from the Ti Tree community who commenced at Meriden in Year 7, completed Year 12. Anthea graduated as only the second person, and first female, in the Tanami Desert region to acquire a high school credential, in this case the HSC. We are so proud of her commitment and of this achievement.
How can you help?
There are several ways that you can help support the work of the Meriden Indigenous Bursary:
- Become a Committee member! We are always looking for new and enthusiastic members and skills
- Make a tax-deductible donation online here or download a donation form
- Help spread the word about the Bursary Committee's special events and bring along your friends and family
- For regular updates about the Committee's activities ‘Like’ our Facebook page here
- Fundraise with us by organising your own small fundraising event and donate the proceeds to the Bursary.
Meriden Indigenous Bursary Trustees
Catherine Wynn Jones (Class of 1980)
Claire Bennett (Class of 2010)
Isabel Copeman (Class of 2006)
Dr Julie Greenhalgh (Principal)
Meriden Indigenous Bursary Committee members
Claire Bennett (Chairman)