The Wa Initiative
Wa (pronounced wah) is a word in the Torres Strait language of Kala Lagaw Ya and also in Torres Strait Creole meaning yes and we believe that through supporting education – Indigenous communities, families and students can say yes to having a positive future which leads to better outcomes for their families, community and for our nation.
We’re supporting other Indigenous foundations and not-for-profit organisations in their work in offering quality, secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that while there has been an increase in the grade 7 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (62.4%), the percentage is still considerable lower than non-indigenous students (86%)
The initiative builds on Rork’s proud support of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and The Literacy For Life Foundation – an Aboriginal-led charity tackling low adult literacy in Australia’s Indigenous communities.
The wa initiative is a sub fund of the Australian Communities Foundation.
Supporting the ‘Wa Initiative’
Since the launch of the Wa Initiative in 2020, we have joined with several corporate partners to raise much needed funds and awareness for the education of Indigenous Youths.
In 2021 we kicked off our Partnership with the Property Council of Australia to bring our 'Reconciliation Series' across the east coast, with the Canberra event alone raising $1,200 for the Wa Initiative through the silent Auction of a signed Canberra Raider’s jersey.
The ‘Reconciliation Series’ continued in 2022 with $10 from every ticket sold being donated to the Wa Initiative to help local Indigenous schools in each state. Across the 4 states we helped to raise almost $5000.
The support of the Canberra Raiders also continued into 2022 partnering with us for the second consecutive year, through the 50/50 charity, more than doubling the money raised the previous year.
Rork Projects are whole-heartedly committed to the Wa Initiative, and it is only through the support of partners, such as the Canberra Raiders and the Property Council, that we can achieve our goals and continue to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous youths.
At the start of 2020, the Wa Initiative was proudly launched at a special gathering in Brisbane. Speaking at the launch, Rork Projects' Co Owners John Paul Janke and Brian O’Rourke announced a $20,000 donation from the Wa Initiative to Yalari – a not-for-profit organisation offering secondary education scholarships to Indigenous children at leading Australian boarding schools
"We’re delighted to announce tonight that Rork– through the Wa Initiative and hopefully with the help of our networks – are supporting the Yalari. Yalari is a remarkable organisation offering secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children," they said.
Since 2005, Yalari has been providing Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities across Australia the opportunity to receive a full boarding school scholarship for their entire secondary education.
All Yalari students are recipients of the Rosemary Bishop Indigenous Education Scholarship. Yalari’s Founding Director, Waverley Stanley AM named the scholarship program in honour of his primary school teacher who supported him in gaining a scholarship to attend Toowoomba Grammar School in Queensland.