This year we hosted the 9th MADALAH Ball on Saturday 5th August at the Crown Towers Grand Ballroom! It was our biggest ball to date with more than 850 guests filling the room! The black-tie event helps to raise much needed funds for our scholarship program and allows us to showcase the many talents of our students. Guests were treated to a 3 course Indigenous inspired dinner, several student performances and inspiring speeches, a powerful keynote speaker and the opportunity to participate in a silent and live auction and raffle. MADALAH ties, scarves and lanyards in 4 student designs were also available to purchase on the night.
We would like to extend a massive thank you to our wonderful MC’s, recent MADALAH – Guildford Grammar School graduate Jalen Coppin (Class of 2022) and Keshi Moore, current MADALAH – Northern Star Resources tertiary scholar. They kept our guests entertained with their charisma, professionalism, humour, and passion for the cause; sharing their personal journey with MADALAH throughout the night. Jalen is currently doing an electrical apprenticeship with BHP and Keshi is currently undertaking her tertiary studies doing a Juris Doctor of Law at the University of Melbourne with the goal of returning to Broome to work as a lawyer.
The night got off to a wonderful start with Dr Richard Walley and Rickeeta Walley providing a spiritual Welcome to Country that left the room in awe! The welcome was followed by an opening performance from the Aquinas College Choir whose angelic voices filled the room, accompanied by a collaboration of girls dance troupes, Kwobadok Yok Midar from Penrhos College and St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls who weaved through the crowd and put on an incredible performance which set the scene for what was to come!
MADALAH Chair Jeanice Krakouer and Board Member Nic Merson welcomed all guests on behalf of the MADALAH Board and Staff. MADALAH Student Council Members Monty Petterson and Brooklyn Cowdrey then invited Dawn Hughes from Muntulgura Guruma Pty Ltd to the stage, who presented a $10,000 donation to MADALAH!
Our Keynote speaker was Minister Tony Buti, Minister for Education, Aboriginal Affairs, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests. He acknowledged the impressive work MADALAH is doing, and the opportunities and range of support provided to our secondary and tertiary scholarship students. He also took a moment to congratulate the students from our 23 partner schools that took to the stage to perform and speak on the night.
Guests were then presented with Indigenous inspired tasting plates which included seared kangaroo, smoked emu and wattle seed crusted crocodile. After the entrée, guests had the opportunity to buy raffle tickets with a chance to win $3,000 cash! This year’s unique tickets were a small acrylic coaster in 4 different designs. The artwork is a collaboration between Ballardong Noongar, Nimbunburr and Yawuru artist Kambarni and 2023 MADALAH students. The artwork represented the kangaroo (Yongka), the Stingray (Bamba), the Turtle (Booyi) and the Emu (Wetj) and Rainbow Serpent (Waakal). Each original piece on canvas was later auctioned off that night!
A student mash up video was then played on screen followed by an inspiring and from the heart speech by Year 7 MADALAH Scholar Chase Nannup supported to attend Guildford Grammar School. A proud Kuruma, Banjima and Yamatji man, he spoke of his family and life in his hometown of Port Hedland and reflected on his schooling journey so far.
The Mooditj Mob Dancers from Wesley College then took to the stage with an electrifying performance. Hale School then performed and were joined by the Mooditj Mob dancers for a powerful and moving collaboration Nyumbi performance.
It was now time for the delicious main course and a chance for guests to mingle and check out the live and silent auction items up for grabs on the dance floor. From unique experiences to sporting memorabilia and one-of-a-kind art pieces, there was something for everyone! Another feature of the night was Kevin Bynder’s live canvas art piece! Guests were invited to meet him and see the progress of his masterpiece take shape throughout the night! It would then be auctioned off to one lucky bidder! After dinner, another very generous donation was presented by Alexander Wolf and Sara Bergmann from the National Indigenous Times for $25,000.
A very special student collaborative performance was up next. This group really exemplifies the fact that our students consider one another and the MADALAH team as a family, a network they can rely on and grow with whilst navigating their education journey and having some fun along the way! The group featured Year 10 Perth College scholar Lavinia McKenna on vocals, Year 10 Scotch College Students, Dallmyn Kelly, Ben Stack and Nicholas Chi and Year 12 Carmel Adventist College student Monty Petterson. The whole room were captivated by their incredible musical talent.
MADALAH Head Girl Jorjah Walley (Year 11 – Perth College) and MADALAH Head Boy Oshay Riley (Year 12 – Trinity College) then gave their speeches. Jorjah, spoke fondly of her family and hometown in Kununurra and her journey with MADALAH since 2020 studying at Perth College. She spoke of being made to feel welcome and accepted into the MADALAH family and would not have had the opportunity to attend her school if it wasn’t for her scholarship. Oshay Riley, a proud Nyoongar man raised in Perth, focused on the acronym of MADALAH (Making a Difference and Looking Ahead). He spoke of the importance of events such as the Youth Leadership Summit, where unbreakable bonds are formed between participants and are carried through their education journey and beyond! He concluded by saying support is the backbone of MADALAH and that all the tiny acts of charity performed by mentors, staff and students is what MADALAH is made of.
A powerful video was then played to the room, featuring Hanrine Futures Scholar Tasharni Coppin supported to attend Guildford Grammar School (Year 7), and Tanna Bellotti Year 12 scholar supported to attend Penrhos College. It began with Tasharni spending time in her hometown of Port Hedland with her family enjoying her favourite things she likes to do when she is home. It then cut to her getting ready for school in the Boarding House at Guildford Grammar School. This truly emphasised and represented what walking in two worlds means to our students. Tanna Bellotti was then featured; she is almost at the end of her schooling journey completing Year 12 this year. She spoke of being a member of her school student council and the range of subjects she was able to study, which were not offered at her school in her hometown of Carnarvon. She highlighted that the support she has received from MADALAH mentors, students and staff has been invaluable.
It was now time to raise some much-needed funds and our auctioneer for the night David Shorttee kicked off the LIVE auction! 13 exclusive items were up for grabs including rare sporting and music memorabilia, 3 luxury escape holidays and some amazing one-of-a-kind art pieces including Kevin Bynder’s masterpiece!
To finish off the evening, Broken Tides, a leading rock band from the Pilbara region took to the stage to get everyone out of their seats and lighting up the dancefloor!
This was a fantastic event and will go a long way in providing awareness and funding for additional scholarships in 2024. We are excited to share that the proceeds from the auctions, raffle, ticket sales and donations raised throughout the night will allow us to support an additional 38 students to attend our partner schools in 2024 and ensure they receive a high-quality education.
On behalf of the MADALAH Board and Staff, our students, their families, and communities, we would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who supported the 2023 MADALAH Ball; all showing true commitment to closing the gap in Indigenous education!