Who we are

Drawing sand

Yadha Muru:
A good path to learning

“We want for our children the same opportunities and choices other Australians expect for their children. We want them to succeed in mainstream Australia, achieving educational success, prospering in the economy and living long, healthy lives. We want them to retain their distinct cultures, languages and identities as peoples and to be recognised as Indigenous Australians.

It is through education that Indigenous cultural, natural and organisational leaders will attain the skills, capabilities and confidence to walk in both worlds, keeping their culture strong while operating with confidence in the mainstream.”

Yadha Muru Foundation was formed in 2019 with an ambition to facilitate the widespread replication of the community + school partnership model.

The partnership model allows students, families and communities to work closely with schools to find a good path for their children to success in education and a thriving and fulfilling life.

“YMF aims for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to be empowered through education, with schools and communities working together to provide the best opportunities for them to successfully progress through all levels of their schooling, and then into post-school pathways.”

— Prof. Leanne Holt

“The success of Gawura and Darkinjung Barker show what is possible. My dream is that those choices and opportunities will be available for many more Indigenous Australians.”

— Sean Gordon

Yadha Muru Foundation was originally named the National Indigenous Education Partnerships and was formed as an independent not-for-profit organisation in 2019 by Sean Gordon, Peter Berkley and Professor Leanne Holt. Origin Energy Foundation and several private donors provided the start-up funding. In 2020, Cherie Johnson joined the board of directors.

YMF is a not-for-profit company and Public Benevolent Institution, registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, and endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) under Item 1.

Our Vision

Retaining our distinct culture, language and identity, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people achieving educational success, prospering in the economy and living long healthy lives to the benefit of their families, community, and the nation.

Our Purpose

A brighter future for our communities and the nation, by doing our very best for our children.
Clonal Tree

The Clonal Tree

The tree represents the connection between the past (roots), the present (trunk and larger branches) and the future (smaller branches and leaves). The many small branches illustrate the many good paths to success open to individuals. Connection to a strong trunk illustrates the importance of connection to family and community. Connection to roots illustrates the importance of a strong foundation and connection to heritage and culture. The deep and complex roots also illustrate the importance of connection to land.

Enclosing the tree in a circle represents the journey of life, connecting the present to the future and the past. It also encapsulates the concept of the current generation building on the knowledge and heritage of past generations and nurturing future generations.

The colour scheme captures the colour of the land with the life-giving light of the sun shining through.

Clonal trees are connected through a single root system, sharing water, minerals and other essential nutrients. There may be thousands of trees in a colony, but they are connected as part of a greater whole. They are deeply connected to land and to one another. This illustrates the importance of connection to land and to community and heritage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Meet our team

Dr Leanne Holt

Prof. Leanne Holt

Founder | Chairperson


Sean Gordon

Founder | Chief Executive Officer

Peter Berkley

Peter Berkley

Founder | Executive Director


Cherie Johnson


Untitled design (15)

Andrew Lloyd

Director City-Country Partnerships

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Yadha Muru Foundation (YMF) is an independent not-for-profit organisation formed in 2019 with the objective of assisting high-quality schools and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to come together in partnerships to develop pathways for their children to success in education and a thriving and fulfilling life. YMF is independent of the schools mentioned in this web site and does not receive any financial or other assistance from those schools.

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