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When Pete Goss, School Education

Program Director for the Grattan

Institute, formerly of BCG, went

on a Jawun secondment to Cape

York Partnership in 2011, the

organisation ended up getting

a two-for-one deal: Pete did a

secondment and his wife Sarah

worked for Noel Pearson at

Cape York Partnership. Sarah

explained: ‘I’d been working in

the development sector and was

very passionate about going

and doing something.’

Pete, Sarah and their three boys,

aged 10, eight and six, moved

to Cape York for an extended

secondment period of nine

months. ‘The experience certainly

impacted both of us and our kids,’

said Sarah. ‘It gave them a real

insight into the privilege they’d

been born into and the challenges

and opportunities out there.

They went from a little school in

Melbourne with no Indigenous

children to attending a state

school in Cairns. It sharpened their

sense of justice and injustice.’

When Pete and Sarah returned

home to Melbourne they felt

‘inspired and challenged about

how we could continue to

contribute. We wanted to bring

that experience to other children’.

In 2013, Sarah arranged for a group

of 24 children and their families

from Alphington Primary School

in Melbourne to visit Cape York

for a week. A highlight was the

time that they spent at Hope Vale

Primary School. ‘We had families

come back and absolutely rave

about it,’ said Sarah. ‘It wouldn’t

have been possible without the

support we had from Jawun and

the time we’d spent up there in


From that initial visit, a sister

school relationship was

established: on alternate years,

Alphington children travel north

and Hope Vale children travel

south. ‘When the kids from Hope

Vale came down, that’s when it

became clear how transformative

it could be,’ said Pete. Sarah

agreed: ‘Just to see the kids’

faces—it’s exciting on both sides.

They’re exploring a new culture

from a positive perspective.’

The ripples created by the

Alphington–Hope Vale relationship

have spread beyond the Goss

family and the two schools. ‘After

the most recent trip I had other

schools asking me about setting

up sister school relationships,’

explained Sarah.’ It’s starting to

build its own momentum, which

is fantastic. Because it’s the kids,

it will be that generation who’ll

be able to really further the

reconciliation message.’

A transformative friendship

between schools


Steve Raynor, Head of Organisational Effectiveness

& Change at QBE, participated in an Executive

Visit to the Central Coast of New South Wales in

2014. He reflected: ‘The experience was something

I could take back to the office, to have better

informed diversity and inclusion conversations.’

Jaimes Adlington from Westpac said he wanted his

work colleagues to gain a deeper understanding

of their local Indigenous communities. ‘I took my

team out to a community day at La Perouse. Chris

Ingrey, the CEO of La Perouse Local Aboriginal

No one comes back from a Jawun

secondment without stories to tell of the

complexities and challenges Indigenous

people live with, the successes and

how life really is. That has to be a great

force for good.