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Meet our 2021 Young, Black and Proud Scholarship Winners

Our Young, Black and Proud Scholarship program supports and celebrates our young mob and also honours those who exhibit outstanding talent in the arts, sport or academic fields.

This year we also partnered for the Queensland Family & Child Commission (QFFC) again and with their funding contribution we continued to support young people in Greater Brisbane.

Our selection panel was blown away by another great year of applications for our Young, Black and Proud scholarship program. The decision a tough one, but we are proud to present our winners for 2021.

Academic Category Winners

Caleb Mackinnon

16 year old Caleb is a passionate student, with a love of learning and education. He’s involved in the Deadly Choices program at school and is looking forward to continuing his education in the future.

Harmony Parsons

Harmony is a 13 year old budding chef from the Wakka Wakka mob. After her successful application, Harmony is looking forward to setting herself on the path to a successful career in hospitality.

Shakira Parsons

Shakira is a 13 year old Wakka Wakka young person dedicated to her education and being a leader. She is an inspiration to her younger siblings, constantly striving for the best grades she can. She enjoys getting out with a rugby ball whenever she can. Shakira has her sights set on a career as a mechanic in the future.

Kodie Tunley

Kodie is a proud Kamilaroi woman who is passionate about culture and a leader in her community. Her goals for the future are to take her passion for her culture and knowledge for nursing and help as many people as possible. Kodie is working in a casual role at her former school running a sisterhood program that supports young people to connect to their culture.

Kailu Wano

Meriam Mer man, Kailu is a 15 year old Holland Park State High School student with a passion for sports and his family. Kailu studies hard in his design and technology subjects at school and is working toward a career in architecture.

Arts Category Winners

Zac Holmes

Proud Eora man, Zac is an up and coming digital creator with a passion for animation. Currently undertaking a diploma in digital screen and media visual effects, he loves being with his family and getting creative.

Bowie Ellis

Proud Wakka Wakka man Bowie is a keen trumpet player and leader in the performing arts community of his school. He plans to use his scholarship money to purchase a new trumpet to continue to play into high school.

Ashley George

20 year old proud Kamilaroi woman Ashley is a talented performer and choreographer. She is currently studying for qualifications in RAD Ballet and CSTD Contemporary and is hoping to have a career in the performing arts. Ashley also wishes to further her learning in both dance and Indigenous knowledge to continue to embrace her culture.

Sports Category Winners

Mackenzie Berg

Proud Wiradjuri man, Mackenzie dreams big and sets goals to match. He’s an up and coming sports star with a passion for inspiration and mentorship to younger community members. Mackenzie sees an NRL contract in his future and can’t wait to be a role model for other Indigenous kids. He’s also hoping to put his scholarship money toward his uniforms and sports gear to be the best he can.

Lillielle Mahoney

Talented and athletic Bundjalung girl Lillielle is 13 years old and loves music, fishing and food. However, her biggest passion in life is touch football. She is currently captain of her team and in 2020 was part of the Indigenous U14 girls team in the Queensland All Nations Touch Tournament. Lillielle plays or trains for touch almost every day and sometimes up to three times a day. She loves playing football and scoring dive tries.

Peta Saylor-Smith

Peta is a proud Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta Boonwurrung, Erub (TSI) girl. She’s 13 years old and the second oldest of six siblings. Her dream is to become a professional athlete either in the AFLW or WNBL. Peta’s favourite thing about getting involved in sports is meeting new people and having new experiences. In her downtime she loves to hang out with her family and friends.

Kali-yah Taoso

Kali-yah is a passionate water polo player who is keen to see more Indigenous players represented in the water. She’s collecting medals left, right and centre, including gold in the state competition and silver at nationals. Her sights are set on the international stage and she hopes to put her scholarship money toward competing in NZ.

Madisen Wills

Not only a keen futsal and volleyball player Madisen is also a proud Bigambul, Ewamian and Kukatij man. A rising star in the soccer scene, Madisen has been chosen to represent Queensland in both 2019 and 2020. He’ll use his scholarship money to pay for competition trips and team registrations so that he can continue to improve.

We honoured our deadly scholarship recipients with an official presentation at the State Library of Queensland. We also celebrated with some very special guests, including ATSICHS CEO Jody Currie, and Board Members Anthony Morgan and Jyi Lawton. Also joining us was QFCC Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon and Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs Assistant Director Pele Ware.

Congrats to all our winners! Check out all the photos below and also keep your eyes on our application page for your opportunity to apply in 2022.

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