Yarlalu Thomas

Yarlalu Thomas is a 21-year-old man from Warralong, a small Indigenous Community 120 kilometres south east of Port Hedland and 50 kilometres north of Marble Bar in Western Australia.
Yarlalu’s father’s Country is on the edge of the Western Desert in a place called Mijijimaya. A Nyangumarta man, Yarlalu is named after a hill where his grandfather was born.

Yarlalu left Warralong to study at Scotch College in Perth on a MADALAH scholarship. Upon graduating, he attended the University of Sydney on a MADALAH tertiary scholarship where he studied a double degree in Medicine and Medical Science.

In early 2019, following the completion of his undergraduate studies, Yarlalu was awarded the inaugural Roy Hill Community Foundation Fellowship in Precision Public Health. He is now working on “The
Pilbara Faces” project led by clinical geneticist, Dr Gareth Baynam, and the Genetic Services teams at King Edward Memorial Hospital.

“The Pilbara Faces” project involves using new technologies to try and solve current health issues. In short, they use 3D facial imaging to try and diagnose rare genetic disorders. Of all rare genetic disorders, one third of them have distinct facial features. This provides a non-invasive way to diagnose disorders and improves accessibility to genetic health care in rural and remote communities.” Yarlalu continues to be heavily involved with MADALAH as a mentor and was recently named 2020 WA Young Australian of the Year!

Acknowledgement of Country

MADALAH acknowledges and pays tribute to the Whadjuk Noongar, the Traditional Custodians of the Lands on which we work, and we pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging. This acknowledgement extends to the First Peoples’ land across the state of Western Australia which is home to the many students that we support.

MADALAH recognises and values the continuity of cultural, educational and spiritual practices of First Peoples.

We wish to advise our First Peoples that this site may contain the names, images or audio-visual recordings of people who have passed.