Julia Malamoo, from Alstonville, is on a Yalari scholarship.
Julia Malamoo, from Alstonville, is on a Yalari scholarship. Matt Plant

Julia's scholarship a flying start

JULIA Malamoo's outstanding academic ability is sure to help her get an aviation career off the ground.

Julia skipped her final year of primary school in NSW and joined St Hilda's school on the Gold Coast in Year 8 on a Yalari scholarship.

"It's really great," said Julia, 14, who is now in Year 10.

"There are lots of opportunities at the school. The facilities are great. I've always wanted to be a pilot and the school offers subjects like physics, engineering and robotics, which will help me to do that."

Yalari is an organisation set up in 2006 by Gold Coast Aboriginal man, Waverley Stanley, to provide educational opportunities for eligible indigenous children at some of the nation's most prestigious boarding schools.

The organisation now has 192 students in Years 7-12 studying at 31 schools across Australia.

"The opportunities that an education provides is limitless," said Mr Stanley.

"Children like Julia are able to be challenged and exposed to a world full of opportunities."

Julia's mother, Cathy, has seen the change in her daughter since she started boarding school

"Her confidence has ... increased, she's formed new friendships in a boarding school environment with a variety of students from different backgrounds. She's been exposed to a real variety of people," she said.

"Yalari also really nurtures the connection that children have with their cultural heritage, and that has been really positive for Julia."

With a 90% retention rate of students, Mr Stanley said a Yalari scholarship changed the lives of Aboriginal children for the better.

Applications for Yalari scholarships close on May 31. Visit http://www.yalari.org for more information.



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