Indigenous student warns boarding school can be ‘distressing’ as dropout rates are questioned

Cheyenne Maymuru is one of hundreds of young Aboriginal people who have left their communities to attend elite private schools in Australia’s biggest cities, and while there are many success stories, others are left with broken dreams.

When she was 12 years old, Ms Maymuru was granted a scholarship with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF), but what started out as an exciting opportunity soon became an experience she described as “deeply distressing”.

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Exclusive by Nick Hose and national Indigenous affairs correspondent Bridget Brennan and the Specialist Reporting Team’s Isabella Higgins

Roadtrip rolls through the NT to empower young trailblazers

An Australian-first initiative that will empower over 3,000 young women has touched down in the Northern Territory.

Country to Canberra is driving over 30,000km to run ‘Project Empower’, an award-winning program that promotes leadership and gender equality to teenage girls across rural and remote Australia.

CEO Hannah Wandel says the not-for-profit organisation is excited to spend the next two weeks in the Territory to run the free, innovative program in places like Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.

“Incredibly, we will be reaching over 400 young women in Northern Territory high schools alone.

“Project Empower builds self-confidence, educates about diversity and provides leadership training. We want to ensure no matter where you’re from or what gender you are; you have the tools to succeed.

“We love the Territory, so are really looking forward to discussing important issues with local students.”

Ms Wandel said the response to Project Empower has been breathtaking.

“Earlier this year, we received dozens of expressions of interest from the Northern Territory asking us to come and run Project Empower in their region. It shows that people are crying out for programs like this in the bush.”

In the NT, Project Empower is visiting schools and community groups in Minyerri, Jilkminggan, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.

Country to Canberra has a history of success, having run its prestigious Power Trip program since 2014 to connect rural girls with the likes of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and top CEOs. It won Holden’s first-ever ‘What Drives You’ grant to kick-start Project Empower.

The roadtrip will ultimately travel through every state and territory to over 90 rural and remote towns.


To follow the interactive map, documentaries and more, see

All children in detention in the Northern Territory are Indigenous

Policy for dealing with youth crime among Aboriginal children labelled as ‘inhumane, costly and does not work’

All children now in detention in the Northern Territory are Aboriginal, according to data from the families department, prompting calls for reform of the justice system.

In response to questioning at an NT estimates hearing late last week, the department confirmed that “as of today, 100% of the children in detention are Aboriginal. The proportions have not changed since the royal commission.”

Sunday Golf Term 2 Celebrations

The final session of Term 2 junior golf was a celebration of all the juniors achievements so far this year.

Community Instructor Katelyn Rika and Naomi Rika, presented certificates to another 7 GIRLS with their MYGOLF ROOKIE AWARDS.

Community Instructor Mitchell Barrett presented 13 BOYS with their MYGOLF ROOKIE and STAR AWARDS.


A big thank you to our role model youth: Katelyn Rika, Naomi Rika and Mitchell Barrett for your help every week with running the junior golf sessions in providing lots of fun through golf.

Congratulations also to the following juniors: Mitchell Barrett, Rigby Campbell, Chloe Budja, Dean Budja, Katelyn Rika, Naomi Rika and Hannah Rika. They are heading to Palmerston for the NT JUNIOR MASTERS GOLF TOURNAMENT AND COACHING CLINICS, which will be held 2-6th July.

Safer Communities: First Senior YOREO to be based in Groote Eylandt

4 June 2018

Young people who have already come into contact with the justice system in Groote Eylandt will be supported to get their lives on the right path with their first Senior Youth Outreach and Re-engagement Officer (YOREO) starting work.

The new Senior YOREO will be in the role for the next three months while recruitment is underway to permanently fill the position.

Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield said that the work of the YOREOs are an important part of the Territory Labor Government’s Youth Justice Reform strategy.

“We need to help young people get on the right path and away from the cycle of crime. We want them to thrive and become productive members of our community. To achieve that, we need to support them and their families and connect them to services that meet their individual needs,” Ms Wakefield.

“Senior YOREOs can achieve this as they are specialist youth workers who can identify and work with at-risk youths. They can also manage youths who are on court orders and re-engage them to make positive life choices.”

Member for Arnhem Selena Uibo said that enhanced youth services are welcomed in Groote Eylandt.

“Better youth services are much needed on Groote to meet the unique needs of our vulnerable young people. The new Senior YOREO will also have the role of co-ordinating youth activities and develop a Groote Eylandt Youth Action Plan in partnership with NGOs and other key stakeholders,” Ms Uibo said.

“This is an important position that is integral to supporting our young people and their families in Groote Eylandt.”

The new Senior YOREO Mr Dylan Robinson has had extensive experience in the area of youth services across the Territory including six months acting as the YOREO Team Leader in Tennant Creek, as part of the NTG’s Barkly Regional Action Plan. He has a Graduate Certificate in Development Trauma and is looking forward to engaging with the community in Groote Eylandt.

“I look forward to contributing to the Groote Eylandt community and develop bright futures for young people who live there,” Mr Robinson said.

“I will be working with young people and their families, other Government agencies, and local NGO services to support young people seen to be at risk or vulnerable.

“My aim is to connect these young Territorians to relevant education, training, counselling and medical services, so that they can make informed life choices and contribute to their local community.”

The Senior YOREOs form part of the 52 Youth Diversion Workers announced by the Territory Labor Government in early 2017. In addition to Groote Eylandt, they have regional footprints in Alice Springs, Palmerston, Nhulunbuy, Katherine, and Tennant Creek.

Media Contact: Paige Nguyen 0428 727 244

Top End community reels after petrol sniffing death of 12-year-old-boy

A TIGHT-KNIT Top End community has been left reeling after the petrol sniffing death of a 12-year-old-boy.

The young boy was reportedly found by family members unresponsive in the back of a car in the East Arnhem Land community of Gapuwiyak earlier this week.

Senior Sergeant Dan Whitfield-Jones told Gove FM on Thursday that after discovering the boy, his family took him inside and started CPR, called the clinic and police.

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Founder of Yothu Yindi says African gangs “an insult to First Australians”

ONE of Australia’s most senior Aboriginal tribal leaders has delivered a sharp message to African gangs causing fear across Melbourne, telling them that their poor behaviour is an insult to the First Australians.

Witiyana Marika, 56, from Yirrkala community in northeast Arnhem Land, said images of young men brawling, smashing shops and frightening people were confronting and needed to stop.