Youth were the most powerful voices at the recent United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York and three of Richmond’s outstanding young Aboriginal leaders were among them.

Aaron Clark, Director of the Korin Gamadji Institute, Thara Brown, KGI Program Manager, and Tahlia Biggs, KGI Program Coordinator, presented at the UN forum and took part in numerous discussions to share learnings and approaches being implemented worldwide to support Indigenous communities.

Richmond’s partnership with the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples facilitated the invitation while the generous support of Club partner Tandem ultimately made the trip possible.

The visit reinforced the important work the Club does with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, not only in terms of leadership and resilience, but most critically in connection to culture.

A recurring theme throughout the week was the dispossession of land suffered by Indigenous communities throughout the world, and the cultural disconnection that has resulted.

Indigenous communities have been economically disempowered and this combined with the cultural disconnect from the land has contributed significantly to the unacceptable gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that the UN Permanent Forum seeks to address. 
In our own backyard, the KGI programming – in particular our flagship Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership program – is addressing critically important issues with our young people. Be proud, embrace your heritage and become active citizens to address to create change.

“What our programming aims to address is incredibly important – that is clearer than ever after spending time in New York,” Richmond general manager of marketing and communications Simon Matthews said.

“Our whole country should take great pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, seek to understand it and learn from it.

“The young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people we work with will be the custodians for future generations and they should feel great pride in who they are and take great strength from that.

“Strong young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will make the most of their opportunities if they are empowered to do so and that is the purpose of the KGI.

“Ultimately the UN experience tells us we are doing the right things and that is something we can be proud of and continue to build on.  We have great people in place to deliver really important outcomes.”