When Kahlee Stanislaus visited Melbourne with her family for a holiday, she was immediately captivated by the city and all it had to offer. Already a driven student, Kahlee was eager to make the most of her education and push herself to do more. After returning home to Darwin, she put plans in motion to apply for an indigenous scholarship at Melbourne Girls Grammar which would see her gaining more than she ever expected.
Since 2006, Melbourne Girls Grammar has offered indigenous scholarships to courageous young women who want to step outside their comfort zone and make the most of every opportunity.
For Kahlee, she joined the School community in 2013 in Year 9 as a boarder. Kahlee’s family were back in Darwin as she set out by herself to be surrounded by likeminded peers who pushed themselves to do more.
“I grew up in Darwin in the Northern Territory. I will always love it, because that’s where my home is. But the opportunities are very limited,” said Kahlee.
When Kahlee arrived at Melbourne Girls Grammar, she found a community eager to embrace her. “Melbourne Girls Grammar was such a great support system which made my time away so much easier. The School empowered me to go on to do what I wanted. The opportunities I received opened up a completely different world for which I will forever be grateful.” says Kahlee.
By welcoming indigenous students, the Melbourne Girls Grammar community gains an understanding and respect for our shared history. The indigenous scholars are generous in sharing their belief, values and language so that the community can benefit from a diversity of thought, opinion and culture.
Principal Dr Toni Meath is a great advocate for the School’s indigenous scholars and what they bring to the community. “Our indigenous students come to us with amazing aspirations and are a part of our community. The boarding house provides them a home away from home and they quickly make friends and are part of a sisterhood for life,” said Dr Meath. “At Melbourne Girls Grammar, community is so important. It’s part of who we are together. It’s about relationships, it’s about connections and it’s about valuing the differences of each other.”
Melbourne Girls Grammar is in the heart of Melbourne, adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Yarra River. Boarders can make the most of every opportunity Melbourne has to offer, with the support of the School.
“The Boarding House was one of the best things about Melbourne Girls Grammar. The fun and respect we had for one another helped us form strong lifelong bonds. The Boarding House became my second family,” said Kahlee. “One of my favourite memories from school was the Year 9 camp to the NT. I loved being able to show my friends where I came from and it helped them to understand my culture.”
Now back in Darwin continuing her studies in psychology at Charles Darwin University, Kahlee is very keen to bring everything she’s learned from her time away back to the community.
“My time at Melbourne Girls Grammar made me more independent which allowed me to grow enormously both academically and in everyday life,” Kahlee said. “I take my education seriously, and while it was difficult at the start it definitely helped prepare me for the future.”
For others looking to find more challenges academically, Kahlee remains positive that her time away has done incredible things for her future.
“That scholarship has meant a lot to me and if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be here today. To other students thinking about the scholarship, I would just tell them to take the step. I know it’s hard to leave your family and your community, but the opportunities available you probably won’t get them where you live. Have the courage to try and know that there’s support there for you whenever you need it. Take that step and in the long run, it will benefit you so much.”
Applications for 2021 Indigenous Scholarships are now open and close on 14 August 2020.