DKF_logo

Dungala Kaiela
Foundation

This Foundation aims to support initiatives that will empower First Nations people in the Dungala Kaiela region to achieve prosperity.

BATPARRIK

Our Journey Towards Parity

YILETA

Latest News

NANYAK

Programs We Support

A meaningful set of initiatives focused on employment, education, health and well-being. Each of these programs incorporate cultural identity and affirmation.  

The value of these initiatives was quantified by an academic study from La Trobe University that concluded $1 invested generates $5.45 return in social value.

Dungala Kaiela Writing Awards

These Awards were instigated by a group of Koori women from the Dungala Kaiela region. They wanted children to write stories about things that mattered to them in English and their Indigenous tongue. The Awards give first nation people a voice and encouragement to express themselves and develop literacy in their own cultural styles.

Cultural identity

Being a proud first nation people who knows their stories, customs, rites and totems is important. Programs in this area help youngsters to learn about their past and provide access for members of the mainstream population to learn about first nation traditions, languages, ceremonies and the power of being on country.
Dungala_Kaiela_Oration

LOTJPA

Dungala Kaiela Oration

An annual oration jointly sponsored by the Kaiela Institute and the University of Melbourne, in partnership with the Rumbalara Football Netball Club. The aim of this annual event is to host visionary leaders to deliver the Oration that will help inspire those present to create a shared vision for the people of the region. 

This is a major event on the calendar that attracts educators, civic leaders and sports people from the Dungala Kaiela region, Melbourne and beyond.

2019
Senator Pat Dodson, Yawuru man from WA
2018
Dr Moana Jackson, lawyer and Maori leader
2017
Prof Marcia Langton, Associate Provost Redmond Barry, Distinguished Professor Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies
2016
Dr Martin Parkinson, PSM former Sec Dep PMC
2015
Prof Glyn Davis, AC, former Vice-Chancellor of Uni Melb
2014
Noel Pearson, lawyer, academic, founder of Cape York Institute, Bagaarrmugu man
2013
Peter Nash, former Chair KPMG, Board of Reconciliation Australia
2012
Brian Hartzer, former CEO Westpac
2011
Saul Eslake, economist, AFL advocate, Vice Chancellor ‘s Fellow, UTAS
2010
Richard Goyder AO, Chairman AFL
2009
Prof Dr Carmen Lawrence, former Premier of WA
FOTL project overview 2018 - Shepparton[2]

MINHETGUDA

Why Do We Exist

Historical decisions and an overwhelming introduced culture meant First Nations people in the Dungala Kaiela (Murray Goulburn) region were excluded from civic, financial and political decision-making.  As a consequence we lived on the margins.  

We exist to address this imbalance by supporting the dreams of First Nations people so they are no longer marginalised. We invest in leaders so they can create cultural, civic and economic value for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

YAPAMEYEPUKA

What We Do

With collaborative investment we will shift the narrative to a shared sense of future and a shared sense of nationhood for First Nations peoples. To move from a point of imbalance, it is not about them and us, but we.

It is an innovative long-term whole-of-community change process to increase the prosperity and wellbeing of First Nations people in the Dungala Kaiela (Murray and Goulburn) region of northern Victoria. The intention is to improve and advance economic, social and cultural benefits for the whole region.

The DKF Endowment Fund

The Dungala Kaiela Foundation has recently established an endowment fund with 100% of returns being donated to our partner organisation, Rumbalara Football Netball Club to continue their award winning social, educational and economic programs which are outside of the Club’s sporting activities.

Rumbalara Football Netball Club is a critical and unique institution, it is the Nanyak (invincible spirit) of the community, strengthening First Nations people’s resilience, engaging with the broader community via sport and as a safe hub for its 300 members and their families to learn about and engage with the wider community and economy.

The endowment fund will permanently underpin the key social, educational, and economic programs so that they can be sustained for generations to come.

NGANI

Who We Are

The Foundation was established in 2008 as a non-profit company limited by guarantee. An independent Board that has Indigenous and non-Indigenous members is responsible for its governance.  It has been audited each year without any qualification.  

It is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission and has been endorsed by the ATO as a DGR1.

BURRA

Our Board

Uncle Paul
Paul Briggs OAM

Chairman

Executive Director - Kaiela Institute

Felicia Dean
Felicia Dean

Board Member

CEO - Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative

Steve Rothfield
Steve Rothfield

Board Member

Active advocate for Indigenous people

Justin Mohammed
Justin Mohammed

Board Member

Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young people (Victoria)

BIYALA

Our Patrons

Biyala, Yorta Yorta for red gum tree, is the symbol we have chosen for the patrons of our appeal. The Dungala (Murray) river on the ancestral lands of the Yorta Yorta forms the largest continuous natural river red gum-forest in the world. Strong in their foundations and lasting through many generations, the river red gums provide stability to the river banks.

Mike Fitzpatrick
Mike Fitzpatrick
Rob Phillpot
Rob Phillpot

YANA-DITEPA

Our principles

Self-determination

First Nations people have a vision and a strong voice to determine their own future.

Repositioning Value

We recognise the sophistication and breadth of complexity of First Nation people’s cultural values in all aspects of life, including spiritual, cultural and economics that underpin our wellbeing.

Regional Ownership and Benefit

All stakeholders in the region will share the responsibility for enacting change and will benefit from it.

Prosperity

First Nations people will have equal opportunities to achieve prosperity and contribute to the region’s economy and civic activities.

Accountability

We will monitor and measure change so all stakeholders can celebrate successes and progress.

ANGANYA

Our Partners and Supporters

We work with a range of partners by funding programs across the social, arts, education and employment sectors to increase the prosperity and well being of First Nations people to the benefit of the whole community in the Dungala Kaiela (Murray and Goulburn) region of northern Victoria.

YAKAMA

DONATE TODAY

Making a gift to the Dungala Kaiela Foundation means you are supporting initiatives that will empower First Nations people in the Dungala Kaiela region to achieve prosperity.

Every donor is thanked and will receive a progress report each year.

YAMUTJ

Contact Us

We welcome questions and enjoy sharing our stories. Please call us on (03) 5822 4364 or complete the form below and we will reply as soon as possible.

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"It is not just about homework, but you can also see friends there. I get a lot of support from the tutors for my homework. My confidence in my schoolwork has really increased. I have loved learning more Yorta Yorta language and about my cultural history."
Student, 14
"I enjoy going to homework club because we get to have fun whilst learning, I get to see my friends and connect with everyone. It’s my culture. And I can learn new things about my history. My totors are friendly and they really help me."
Student, 11
Uncle Paul
Paul Briggs OAM

Chairman

Executive Director - Kaiela Institute

Paul Briggs is a Yorta Yorta man who has worked to build a sustainable, inclusive and engaged indigenous community through the empowerment of family and youth.

He is the Executive Chair of the Kaiela Institute, Former Chair of the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, President of the Rumbalara Football Netball Club, Inaugural chair of the AFL Indigenous Advisory Group.

Paul has been at the forefront of Aboriginal peoples rights and advancement since the early 1970s.  His leadership saw the establishment of a number of critical institutions including the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath Organisation, the Victorian Indigenous Leadership Network and First Nations Australian Credit Union, the first Indigenous credit union offering national access to financial services.

Felicia Dean
Felicia Dean

Board Member

CEO - Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative

Felicia Dean is the Chief Executive Officer of Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative and a proud business owner, managing The Connection, a multi-purpose function centre and restaurant.

Felicia is a local Yorta Yorta woman born and raised in the traditional area and is a mother to two daughters and proud grandmother of three burris.

She is heavily involved in her local Community, her knowledge and expertise in the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector is extensive. Felicia sits on numerous Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Boards.

Steve Rothfield
Steve Rothfield

Board Member

Active advocate for Indigenous people

Steven Rothfield is committed to social justice for the First Nations peoples of Australia. Since his retirement from a long career in general management, management consultancy, IT and finance 15 years ago, he has worked with Indigenous leaders on over 30 projects covering a range of community development areas including economic development, employment, education, governance, arts, sports and cultural development.

He has a Commerce degree, an MBA (Melbourne) and a CPA, and is also passionate about underwater marine life and photography.

He is currently on the Board of the Australian Communities Foundation, Kaiela Institute, Australian Women Donors Network and the Barpirdhila Foundation.

Justin Mohammed
Justin Mohammed

Board Member

Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young people (Victoria)

Justin Mohamed is the inaugural Victorian Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People. Mr Mohamed is a proud Aboriginal man of the Gooreng Gooreng nation near Bundaberg in Queensland.

He has dedicated the past 25 years to working towards building a stronger and healthier nation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mr Mohamed has spent much of his career working in the Aboriginal health and sport sectors, improving outcomes and connections to culture for Aboriginal people, including children.

Mike Fitzpatrick
Mike Fitzpatrick

Biyala

Retired AFL Chairman

As a West Australian kid living in Manjimup and then in Perth I was very keen on footy. I supported East Perth and their centreman at the time was the great Syd Jackson, who later crossed to Carlton. When I was invited to accompany the Blues on a pre-season trip in 1974, there he was, one of my heroes in real life. Syd and I always had the WA connection, and he looked after me in those early games, kicking those long, perfectly placed balls just in front and above, where you want them.

Over the years we have come across each other infrequently, particularly after he moved to Canberra, but the Carlton connection is always strong. This year, Syd will be the Sir Doug Nicholls Round honouree.

On the AFL Commission there was, and I am sure still is, a focus on Indigenous issues. We saw ourselves as an organisation which could make a difference to Indigenous lives. One of several initiatives was to measure the impact of the AFL, for example tracking Indigenous player and coach percentages. The conclusion was that we were largely succeeding in the former and failing in the latter.

We appointed a committee to develop the AFL’s Indigenous Action Plan and we kept the issue front of mind amongst our fans with the annual Dreamtime at the G game and the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round.

It was during this time at the AFL that I met Paul Briggs, the President of the Rumbalara organisation in Shepparton. Paul was committed, intelligent and quietly forceful, prepared to explain Indigenous perspectives in a clear, and sometimes uncompromising way. The AFL benefited greatly from that interaction, particularly from his inaugural chairmanship of the AFL’s national Indigenous Advisory Board.

So, when he asked me to be a Biyala I was happy to help. Simply put, the duties are to assist in promoting Rumbalara and help raise an endowment of $5 million to provide Rumbalara with steady income indefinitely, and to reduce reliance on government programs. It is an innovative approach, but Paul does not lack ideas! The First Nations Australian Credit Union, the Victorian Indigenous Leadership Network and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation have all benefited from his leadership.

Rob Phillpot
Rob Phillpot

Biyala

Gravel Road Foundation

I’ve been lucky.  I’ve been dealt a winning hand.  I’m a white man, living in Australia in the 21st century. I’ve had opportunity that not everyone else has had. 

I’m also uncomfortably aware of the divide in our country and the shameful way we have treated our indigenous Australians.  But it’s not enough to just feel like something is wrong – I have to try and do something about it.

When I heard about what was happening at Rumbalara and, importantly, how they were going about it, I was intrigued.  Paul and his team are not angry or bitter – even though they have every right to be.  Instead, they are trying to drive change through inclusiveness, understanding and pride in their heritage. By providing education programs, they keep kids in schools which is great for everyone.  By educating kids on their ancestors, culture and language, they instill a sense of pride in who they are and where they came from – a sense of belonging. When they create a safe place for people of all backgrounds and by opening their arms to non-indigenous Australians, they are fostering understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.

Rumbalara isn’t just about the Yorta Yorta people – it’s about the whole community.  It is a simple but powerful program, led by an amazing group of people.  Being a Biyala means being an advocate for the Yorta Yorta people and adding my voice in support of theirs.   It is my dream that this program can be successful for the Yorta Yorta people and the whole community, and then goes on to be held up as a template for other programs around this country. Then we really will have made a difference.