Waverley Stanley

Founding Director of Yalari

Waverley Stanley is the founding Director of Yalari. Yalari is a not-for-profit organisation that offers quality, secondary education scholarships at Australia's leading boarding schools for Indigenous children from remote, rural and regional communities.

Established in 2005, Yalari supports over 180 children around Australia enrolled in 34 partnership schools in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. Yalari is committed to the empowerment, motivation and support of Indigenous children. It aims to bring about long-term generational change by giving Indigenous children the opportunity to attend some of the highest achieving boarding schools in Australia. Yalari draws its support from individuals, companies, philanthropic foundations and government departments, but it is Waverley who is on the ground working to create change. He travels endlessly to raise funds and awareness, and also to interview every child who applies for a scholarship in their home town. He lives and breathes Yalari and has been a vital force in transforming the lives and futures of young and talented Indigenous Australians. Waverley is creating pathways from disadvantage to empowerment.

Mr Waverley Stanley is an Indigenous man who grew up in Murgon and Cherbourg which are situated 300 kilometres north-west of Brisbane in the South Burnett region of Wide Bay in Queensland, Australia. He received a full boarding scholarship at the Toowoomba Grammar School (an all boys private boarding school) from 1980 to 1984. Mr Stanley is still the only Indigenous student to have ever completed year 12 in the schools 130 year history (since 1875). He was also appointed a school prefect in his final year.

This opportunity came about through Mrs Bishop recognising something special in Waverley when he was 12 years old and in Grade 7. She was instrumental in organising this opportunity for Waverley by approaching the Headmaster at the time of Toowoomba Grammar School, Mr William Dent.

"The sporting disciplines, teamwork and leadership opportunities presented to me at Toowoomba Grammar School prepared me to undertake many leading roles in my community. This scholarship was the catalyst for me to change the course of my life. I was the only Indigenous student at Toowoomba Grammar School and I feel this laid the foundation of the character, resilience and attitude that has served me well throughout my adult life. Through Yalari I am now offering the same opportunities that I was given as a student to other Indigenous children."

After graduating from secondary school Mr Stanley worked as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer with the Australian Taxation Office. He was then employed as a Welfare officer for the Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agency, before spending ten years working as a Community Education Counsellor for Education Queensland throughout the state. Recently, Mr Stanley established New Wave Enterprises, a leadership training organisation.

"This one act of kindness and commitment to my future provided me with the motivation to establish the Rosemary Bishop Indigenous Education Scholarship Program. The purpose of the program is to establish scholarships for other Indigenous children throughout Australia".