MADALAH and BHP join forces to support Indigenous students with education scholarships

BHP is partnering with MADALAH to make a difference to the lives of at least 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote and regional communities, providing them with scholarships to leading boarding secondary schools in Western Australia. 

MADALAH, a not for profit organisation, which stands for ‘Making A Difference and Looking Ahead’ and its mission is to empower Indigenous people to transform their lives through education and training. 

BHP’s funding will support a minimum of 35 students from the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Goldfields over a six-year period throughout their secondary education journey. 

One of the students benefiting from the partnership is Carnarvon teenager Alyssa Latham – a Nanda/Yamatji/Wadjari/Yinggarda woman – who is now in Year 8 and thankful for her BHP-funded scholarship at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls.

At an event to celebrate the partnership, Alyssa said: “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.” 

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

“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.” 

In 2022, MADALAH is supporting a total of 416 scholarship students.

MADALAH CEO Laura Taylor said: “By challenging and improving the status quo and empowering Indigenous young people, we are slowly but surely, Closing the Gap, ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have an equal opportunity to high-quality education and 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 holistic support structure, which included engagement opportunities to enrich the students’ education journey and ensure their well-being.   

“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,” Mr Johnston 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.”