BHP has partnered up with MADALAH to support Indigenous students with educational scholarships. 

The Big Australian’s funding will support atleast 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Goldfields over a six-year period through secondary education at leading WA boarding schools.

One of the students benefiting from the partnership is year 8 student Alyssa Latham, a Nanda, Yamatji, Wadjari and Yinggarda girl from Carnarvon attending St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls.

“I like going to St Hilda’s because it has given me a greater opportunity to not only create myself a better future but it has also helped me discover different things I didn’t know about myself,” Alyssa said.

“So far throughout my journey I have had the support of MADALAH and BHP, helping me stay on track in and out of school.

MADALAH-supported students attending high-achieving WA boarding schools.

“I would like to thank the MADALAH mentors for just being there, for someone to talk to, because you guys are not only mentors, but friends too.” 

MADALAH, which stands for Making A Difference and Looking Ahead, has supported 416 students for the 2022 school year.

MADALAH chief executive Laura Taylor said empowering young Indigenous people through education would help close the gap.

“(this program is) ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have an equal opportunity to high qaulity education,” she said.

“Without doubt, we are making a difference in the lives of our students, their families and communities.”

BHP WA Indigenous engagement manager Colin Johnston said the scholarship funding was complemented by MADALAH’s student support, which included engagement to improve student education and ensure welfare.  

“Like BHP, MADALAH believes that education is the key, and is committed to creating educational opportunities to ensure positive outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students,” he said. 

“A key focus for this partnership is to ensure we work closely with scholarship holders and their families, provide opportunities for interaction through formal workshops and engagements, and build solid relationships with the students across their educational journey.”