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When Mary Wallace found out her daughter Leah had been awarded the Adbri Indigenous Education scholarship, she could barely contain her excitement. ‘I just started jumping up and down saying ‘she got it, she got it’,’ laughs Mary.

The $5000 scholarship will cover the cost of 11-year old Leah’s tuition fees at Port Augusta’s Seaview Christian College, as well as pay for uniform items and school shoes. ‘I’d heard that Seaview was a really good school and it was important to me that Leah go to that school and get a good education, but I had no idea how I was going to afford it,’ says Mary, who is a single mum of four girls.

Leah’s education was especially important to Mary because she herself left school at the beginning of year 9. ‘I just didn’t want Leah to fall through the cracks and become another statistic,’ she says. ‘Leah has so much potential, she loves painting, drawing, reading, playing football and swimming and I want her to achieve her dreams.’

On the advice of one of her older daughters, Mary, who is a Kokatha woman, contacted the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation and was advised to apply for the Adbri Indigenous Education Scholarship.

Adbri’s Chief Operating Officer – Cement and Lime – Brett Brown warmly congratulates Leah on winning the scholarship. ‘All of us at Adbri are moved by Leah’s infectious enthusiasm for excelling in her education, sports and art and by Ms Wallace’s passion for her daughter to reach her potential,’ he says.

Leah was on the phone to a friend when Mary received the good news she’d been awarded the scholarship. ‘I was really happy because it’s going to make a big difference to my future,’ says Leah. ‘At my old school there was a lot of bullying, so I really wanted to go to Seaview but I didn’t think we’d be able to afford it.’

She says the scholarship will not only help her achieve better grades than she would have at her previous school, it will also cover the cost of extracurricular activities like school excursions and SAPSASA.

This scholarship was made possible through the supplier relationship AdBri has with BHP Carrapateena, who work closely with the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation to deliver opportunities for the Kokatha community. ‘Adbri has a strong commitment to reconciliation and learning from Indigenous Australians,’ Mr Brown says.

Leah will provide Adbri with regular updates about her achievements and successes. ‘We’re very happy,’ says Mary. ‘This scholarship has really given Leah the confidence to learn and make new friends’.

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