Bond University to celebrate 10th anniversary of Indigenous Gala

October 30, 2019

Bond University student Maya Johnson with auction artworks from the 2018 Indigenous Gala

Esteemed Indigenous education advocate and recently appointed Member of the Order of Australia, Waverley Stanley AM, will headline the 10th annual Bond University Indigenous Gala on Friday November 8.

The Gala highlights the achievements of the University’s Indigenous students, celebrates Indigenous culture and raises funds to support the education of the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Attendees of this year’s Gala will have the opportunity to contribute to the education of young Indigenous students by bidding on various luxury items and unique artworks during the event. Over the last decade the Gala has raised $2.1 million for Indigenous scholarships and support through corporate partners, the event’s art auction and silent auction, with the evening also growing in popularity to establish itself as a stand-out event on the Gold Coast social calendar.

Bond University regularly partners with this year’s special guest Waverley Stanley AM who grew up in a remote community north-west of Brisbane.

Waverley’s own childhood scholarship experience is what inspired him to create Yalari, an Indigenous education organisation that aims to transform the lives of Indigenous students from remote, rural and regional communities. 

Bond University student and Torres Strait Islander woman Jondayah Martin will MC this year’s Gala together with acclaimed artist, musician and Indigenous ambassador for the University, Jeremy Donovan.

Jondayah will share her own story of growing up on remote Thursday Island, gaining the Yalari Scholarship to study at one of Queensland’s best boarding schools, and moving to the Gold Coast to study a Bachelor of Communication as a Bond University Indigenous Scholar.

The vibrant and talented Wagga Torres Strait Island Dance Company, one of only a few Indigenous professional dance troupes in south-east Queensland, will open the evening with a performance demonstrating the beauty of their cultural heritage.

The evening’s entertainment will continue with renditions of soul, blues, reggae and rock favourites from The Jacks Band, who performed the Helpmann Award winning ‘Spirit of Churaki’ production for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford said the Indigenous Gala celebrated Bond University’s proud tradition of supporting and graduating Indigenous students from some of the remotest parts of Australia.

“It is wonderful to once again be hosting guests who share our commitment to spreading the gift of a university education to students from places such as Cape York and the Torres Strait.

"This tenth gala - in Bond’s 30th year - holds special significance and promises to be both a celebration and an opportunity to make a tangible difference.”

The Indigenous Gala was held for the first time in 2010 under the patronage of Dr Patrick Corrigan AM. The event was initially established as an art auction with the intention of raising money for Indigenous student scholarships, grants and support. 

Ten years on, the Gala has established itself on the Gold Coast, and within the University and wider community, as a celebration of Indigenous culture and education featuring high-profile Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and entertainers, and is well attended by local businesses and cultural identities.

Bond University is also proud to be a member of the national Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) community joining over 1,000 dedicated corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations across the nation who are committed to reconciliation through the RAP program.

The three-course dinner will be held at Bond University on Friday, November 8, starting at 6pm.