Sydney Marsden – Case Study

Sydney Marsden – Case Study

1 June 2023

Sydney, a proud Aboriginal woman from Yamatji country was supported by MADALAH to attend Nagle Catholic College in Geraldton, where she graduated in 2021????

In Year 12 she completed an Emerging Leaders Program, which encourages students to learn about leadership and contribute as a student voice in the school community. She was voted by staff and her peers to be House Captain and worked collaboratively in the 2021 Leadership Team. She represented the College in the community. Having a leadership role in her final year of school, she was able to set an example of what it means to be a Yamatji woman and represent her culture. She had an opportunity to play an active role in NAIDOC Week, National Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day and MADALAH mentoring visits.

In her final year at Nagle Catholic College, Sydney decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a teacher, and accepted an Unconditional Early Offer to the University of Notre Dame for a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) majoring in Science. She was named on the SCSA 2021 Honour Board with a Certificate of Merit. MADALAH continued to support Sydney on a tertiary scholarship at The University of Notre Dame in 2022.

On arrival in Perth, Sydney secured a part-time position at Penrhos College , one of MADALAH’s partner schools and she supports the indigenous students studying at the school. We recently asked her about her role at Penrhos and this is what she had to say….”At Penrhos College, I mentor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by providing culturally responsive and safe pastoral care to students both within and outside the classroom. My aim is to engage a sense of pride and build self-worth for the students I mentor. I absolutely love this job. I believe in achieving better outcomes for all students. I want them to feel comfortable with who they are and to feel safe, included and supported whilst at school. I want them to strive to succeed and experience success”.

Sydney also went on to say her future career aspirations as a teacher are to be hard working, to inspire and to empower. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have many strengths but also face many challenges. She, like MADALAH believes education is the key to generational change and opportunity, and is committed to making a difference in the lives of students, their families, and communities. She wants to empower students to have a voice; to share their thoughts and ideas and contribute to generational change. In amongst her studies and part-time work, Sydney is also employed by MADALAH as a mentor and finds time to visit and meet with MADALAH’s students at our 23 partner schools.

We are so proud of Sydney and it has been wonderful to support her on her post-secondary journey and to have her be part of our Mentor program.

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.