Improving options and opportunities

The receipt of an Indigenous Bursary at Melbourne Grammar has significantly widened the options for the future for Jamarl Firebrace.

It s fair to say that Jamarl wasn’t doing well at his former school. He wanted to improve. He wanted something more, but he just wasn’t sure how to change his situation.

Jamarl Firebrace became aware of Melbourne Grammar School’s Indigenous Bursary Program through his love of rugby. He played against some other Indigenous Melbourne Grammar boys who told him about the opportunity.

And, at that point, Jamarl’s life changed.

“It was hard when I came to Melbourne Grammar last year,” he says. “The boys were very focused on their work, and this was a new situation for me. It took me a while to adjust but now I think the move is the best thing I could have done.”

Importantly, Jamarl believes that his options for the future have significantly widened. “I’ve always had an interest in working with Indigenous communities, but I had no idea how I could make that happen until I came to Melbourne Grammar,” he explains. “I’ve now set my sights on completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne as a first step along that path.”

Indigenous Program Manager, Mr Phil O’Connor, thinks that Jamarl is well suited to his proposed career. “Jamarl is a proud Indigenous man who has been instrumental in working with boys across the School to help them understand and appreciate Indigenous culture and issues,” he says.

“In addition, Jamarl’s natural warmth and emphatic nature enables him to quickly form positive relationships with everyone. This has been particularly evident in his mentoring of younger Indigenous boys,” says Mr O’Connor.

Indigenous Bursary Program

The School is committed to raising $7.5M from private funds to ensure that 15 Indigenous students can attend Melbourne Grammar School in any given year. The partial achievement of this goal has already made a powerful difference in the lives of many students. This year, thanks to the School’s commitment, the support of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, and hundreds of generous community members, 24 Indigenous students will have completed their VCE, and gone on to make a difference in the world around them.

You can help us to get closer to our goal by making a gift online, by setting up a pledge, or by including a gift in your Will in support of the Indigenous Bursary Program. To learn more about the Program, or to talk about your philanthropic goals, please contact the Development Office on +61 3 9865 7677.

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