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More than $1.1 million raised in 24 hours to fund the Goolagong Cawley First Nations Scholarship

On the evening of Thursday 9 May, more than 250 Ӱɴý Family members gathered at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club to launch the 24 hour appeal for the new Goolagong Cawley First Nations Scholarship.

Guests of honour Evonne Goolagong and Roger Cawley were joined by their daughter Kelly, Kelly’s husband, David Loats, and Dr Janet Young, Evonne’s former doubles partner, who is a director of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation.

During an interview on the night with master of ceremonies Tim Shearer, Evonne and Roger described the establishment and development of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation. Roger expressed his gratitude to Ӱɴý for the school’s cooperation with the foundation, saying that the association with the school has been ‘the best time of our lives’.

Evonne spoke of the importance of education as a mantra of her foundation. She has championed opportunities for young First Nations tennis players to reach their own potential through the foundation, but ‘It’s not about the tennis: everyone has to attend school’, she said, and to her, ‘Ӱɴý is like a big family’.

Another highlight was a panel featuring Ӱɴý First Nations students chaired by Ӱɴý’s Head of Indigenous Education, Dr Rob Smith. Current students Kobe and Max (Year 11) and past students Jy Simpkin (’16) and Joel Garner (’17) expressed their gratitude for the opportunities Ӱɴý had opened for them.

The 24-hour fundraising campaign target of $1 million was achieved by 6pm on Friday 10 May, two hours ahead of the 8pm deadline. The final total raised for the new scholarship was $1,177,320.

The funds will be used to endow in perpetuity a full scholarship for First Nations boys from around Australia.

To date three First Nations students have come to Ӱɴý via the Evonne Goolagong Foundation – Corey Clarke (’18), Dion Whitfield (’23), and Lewis (Year 9). Since 2007, 32 First Nations students have graduated from Ӱɴý with their VCE.

Learn more about Ӱɴý College Melbourne’s First Nations Program.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Evonne and Roger for partnering with Ӱɴý to create this scholarship; to the matching donors who made our 24 hour appeal possible; to the parents who gave their time to reach out to other members of the Ӱɴý Family in the call centre; and to the 675 members of the Ӱɴý Family who rose to the challenge of providing educational opportunities for First Nations boys by donating.