15 May 2021

Twelve young Anindilyakwa people from Groote Eylandt in Australia's Northern Territory are on their way to becoming leaders of the future after the launch of a specially designed development program this week. 

A collaboration between the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, the Anindilyakwa Land Council and South32, the Anindilyakwa Future Leaders Program will provide participants, including some of our own employees, with formal leadership and governance qualifications to help them pursue meaningful careers and become the future leaders and decision makers in this community. 

There was a buzz of excitement on Groote Eylandt with fans of all ages eager to meet the event’s famous special guest, Adam Goodes. The Indigenous community leader, former Australian of the Year and former Australian Football League player was a major hit, kicking the footy with the local team - members of the GEBIE Gang, another youth initiative we support on the island. Adam also visited Alyangula Area School to autograph special footballs gifted to the young students. 

Adam said he was incredibly passionate about advocating for Indigenous leadership and governance in Australia’s communities. 

“Being here on Anindilyakwa country is a privilege and I’m excited to be able to share some of my knowledge and experiences with this next generation of community leaders,” he said. 

Also at the event was our Chief Operating Officer Jason Economidis, who in addressing the crowd said: "Quality education changes lives and what makes this program different is that it has been built by and for the Anindilyakwa people." 

"It has been developed to recognise the importance of your culture in your leadership journey,” Jason said. 

“For the 12 future leaders embarking on this fantastic leadership initiative, today marks a significant step towards a remarkable future. There really is no limit on what you can achieve for yourself and for your communities.” 

South32 contributed AU$1 million to the program in its first year and our people will also provide mentoring support for the young participants. This builds on our South32 Innovate Reconciliation Plan, which includes our commitment to increase our community investment programs, grow our Indigenous employment and procurement, and expand cultural awareness training for our people.