Over 500 business, media and community leaders gathered at Bond University on Friday November 11 to help raise more than $350,000 to educate young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
The Bond University Indigenous Gala, which has now raised more than $1.35 million since its inception in 2010, is an annual celebration of Indigenous culture, featuring high profile Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, entertainers and past and present Bond University indigenous students.
The Gala and Bond University from its own fund have provided full scholarships to 46 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to complete their undergraduate degree or diploma at Bond University, Australia’s first and only independent, non-profit university.
“I would have killed to get a scholarship,” Troy Cassar-Daley told the gala audience. “These scholarships make the world of difference. Some of these kids haven’t had opportunities, but they have that drive in their hearts. I know the difference that little bit of a step up makes in someone’s life.”
Bond University Pro Vice Chancellor, Pathways and Partnerships, Catherine O’Sullivan, said the Bond Indigenous Gala served as both a major fundraising exercise and an opportunity to promote Indigenous culture to the wider student and corporate community.
The event now attracts corporate and community attendance from all over Australia and, since 2010, has succeeded in raising over $1 million to support the university education of indigenous Australians.
IMAGE: Jeremy Donovan and Troy Cassar-Daley