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Indigenous Futures Foundation

Ngali: Empowering young First Nations people in Cherbourg through a range of education, social and employment training

Ngali: Empowering young First Nations people in Cherbourg through a range of education, social and employment training

Indigenous Futures Foundation’s Ngali program is a comprehensive initiative aimed at empowering vulnerable young First Nations people in the Cherbourg c...





australia > QLD > regional
05/01/2024 > 13/12/2024


  • Arts and culture
  • Education/training and employment


  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • Young people (6-25)


Indigenous Futures Foundation’s Ngali program is a comprehensive initiative aimed at empowering vulnerable young First Nations people in the Cherbourg community by providing a range of educational, social, and employment opportunities. 

The population of Cherbourg is approximately 1,200, and the history has significant, ongoing impacts on the community, many of which are identifiable as or within critical drivers of local contact with the justice system. From its establishment in 1900, various government policies have subjected Cherbourg residents to coercion and discrimination.

These policies include the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their traditional lands to Cherbourg, breaking connections with ancestral ties, and otherwise affecting cultural attachment.

The following statistics provide insight into the community’s significant challenges concerning young people.
• Total number of days young people spent in youth detention, Cherbourg 10-17-year-olds is 1,130.
• Cost per day of detention, Cherbourg 10-17 year olds is approximately $1,324 with an average cost of 2.7 million annually.
• Rates of substantiated notifications of harm per 1,000 children is 41.3% in Cherbourg compared with 5.5% for the QLD average.
• Child protection order rates per 1,000 children 10-17 years old in Cherbourg is 21.6% compared with 2.6% for the QLD average.
• Student attendance rates are 79.3% compared with 91.5% for the QLD average.

The evidence of the need and demand for the project is established directly from the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, which has recently undergone extensive community consultation. The Major of Cherbourg and the Council have recently reached out to the Indigenous Futures Foundation to provide support and map out the delivery of cultural camps and to assist young people in the delivery of a youth festival and a NAIDOC Ball to support young people, address the high suicide rate and disengagement from school and contact with the Justice Department.

In the face of detrimental socio-economic conditions and a lack of positive engagements, Ngali is designed to inspire a sense of self-reliance, belonging, and mental wellbeing in the community’s youth.

Indigenous Futures Foundation will deliver tailored workshops in cooking, barista training, music making, visual arts, and cultural dance, along with team-building and social activities. These workshops will not only provide vital skills but also promote civic participation and community connection.

Drawing upon their partnership with the council and extensive experience working in the community, they plan to use a co-design approach. Whereby their interventions will address wider contextual factors in young people’s lives, providing individualised and culturally engaging experiences.
Indigenous Futures Foundation are committed to preventing at-risk young people from entering the criminal justice system and mitigating reoffending rates.

By empowering the youth, they believe that Ngali will contribute significantly to the prosperity of the Cherbourg community and foster a generation of contributive, self-reliant adults. Their response to adversity, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will be adaptable and resilient, ensuring the uninterrupted delivery of our program.

In essence, Ngali is not just a project—it’s a commitment to the future of our youth and our community.


Our primary objective with the Ngali initiative is to empower young individuals, fostering self-reliance and mental well-being while substantially reducing the likelihood of their engagement with the criminal justice system. We aim to achieve this through the provision of bespoke educational, social, and employment opportunities, built on the pillars of co-design, individualised support, and cultural engagement.
We expect this approach to lead to increased social, civic, and economic participation, improved functionality within communities, and reduced levels of social isolation, resulting in a stronger sense of community belonging. We anticipate that this will be reflected in measurable outcomes such as higher levels of school attendance, increased employment rates, reduced youth offending, and an overall improvement in mental health, including a decline in suicide rates amongst young people.
Our success will be evaluated through ongoing monitoring and evaluation processes, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative measures. We will track participation rates, academic and employment outcomes, and criminal justice interactions. Additionally, we will conduct regular surveys and interviews with participants, their families, and the wider community to gain insights into their perceptions of the program's impact.
Ultimately, Ngali's success will be defined by its ability to inspire and equip a generation of young people in the Cherbourg community to take control of their own lives and contribute positively to the prosperity of their community.

Short term outcomes:
•Increased social, civic and economic participation
•Increased connection and functioning within communities
•Reduced levels of social isolation/increased sense of belonging in communities
• People are self-reliant, empowered and experience improved mental health

Medium outcomes:
•Enhance young people’s acquisition of practical skills, which will allow them to access employment, education and training opportunities;
•Develop young people’s social skills, behaviour and emotional regulation to increase their readiness to access and sustain employment, education and training;
•Improve community perceptions of young people and their ability to overcome personal challenges to engage in prosocial activities; and
•Build community capacity to invest in services and support young people

Long term outcomes:
• People are engaged in education, training and work-ready services and activities
• People have improved work skills and increased opportunities for paid work
• People engage with and sustain engagement with community services and activities
• People are engaged with skills development and learning opportunities in their communities

Profile of Indigenous Futures Foundation

Indigenous Futures Foundation

The Indigenous Futures Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering Indigenous communities in Australia and fostering a brighter future for our young people. Our mission lies in alleviating poverty and tackling disengagement through culturally appropriate education and holistic support programs. Our methods are rooted firmly in the belief that empowerment, self-dependence, and cultural belonging can be achieved through meaningful engagement and skill development initiatives.
With our team of dedicated professionals, we work tirelessly to curate and execute programs that are not only engaging, but also culturally significant. Our activities encompass diverse areas such as art, cooking, music, and more, always keeping the interests and needs of our community at the heart of our endeavours. We prioritize fostering a sense of belonging and unity, which in turn enhances social engagement and reduces the risk factors associated with youth disengagement.
Our organisation's track record speaks for itself: annually, we deliver over 100,000 nutritious meals to the Indigenous communities we serve. Our forthcoming Ngali, in collaboration with the Cherbourg Council, is a testament to our commitment to our mission and our community. This event promises to further our cause, bringing together the entire community in celebration of rich cultural heritage, promoting inclusivity and unity, and providing a platform for our young people to express, explore, and most importantly, grow. With your support, we can continue to make a significant difference in the lives of the Indigenous communities we serve.


Funding sourceAmount
Funding gap (unconfirmed)$15,000
Expense itemAmount
Video and Photography$2,000
Art Supplies$1,000
Camp accommodation and food and activity$10,000

Support Ngali: Empowering young First Nations people in Cherbourg through a range of education, social and employment training

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