The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation

The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation was established in 1995 by a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to achieve the following objectives:

a) To provide support to Indigenous youth to achieve their potential.

b) To enhance the skills and potential of young Indigenous people.

c) To generate positive aspirations in young Indigenous people.

d) To assist Indigenous youth to relate to the community in general, particularly to other young Australians.

The Foundation's program Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success is a series of school educational support projects for Indigenous students who have the capacity, interest and potential to go on and complete their secondary education. These students are encouraged to go on to tertiary studies - university, TAFE, apprenticeships and traineeships and employment. Projects are individually funded through private industry, Federal and State Government.

Beginning in 1997, the Foundation's first education partnership Gumala Mirnuwarni (Coming Together to Learn) was established in Karratha/Roebourne with 20 students. Since then, with the support of our very many generous partners, the Foundation has established 15 projects operating in Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales based in Alice Springs, Carnarvon, Governor Stirling (Perth-based), Groote Eylandt, Kalgoorlie, Karratha/Roebourne, Kununurra, Lockridge, Mandurah, Newman, Port Agusta, Port Hedland, Swan View (Perth-based), Tom Price and Muswellbrook. There are currently 486 students participating in the project around Australia and since its inception, 259 students have graduated from Year 12.

The Gravity Discovery Centre

The Gravity Discovery Centre is an exciting science education centre just one hour North of Perth and Home to the Leaning Tower of Gingin. The GDC is a premier science education centre in Western Australia for Physics and Astronomy, and the only centre in Australia with a focus on Gravity and Cosmology. The centre provides the opportunity to conduct to hands-on science experiments and to learn about the latest discoveries in science and technology and their relevance to everyday life.

The GDC is becoming a well known tourism destination as well as an ideal location for families to enjoy a rewarding educational experience. The GDC is repeatedly mentioned in the Toursim WA Development Priorities as a site deserving "special focus". Situated in the pristine Wallingup Plains, biodiversity is an important aspect of the GDC, which complements the major focus on physics and astronomy. It is a cultural centre with strong links to the Nyoongar people. It is located in a natural bushland setting north of Perth.

Industry has provided significant funding to enable major infrastructure at the GDC to be established. The GDC is the most efficient of all Australian science education centres in terms of government financial subsidy per visitor. The GDC is the public education interface of the Australian International Gravitational Observatory (AIGO) where cutting-edge scientific research is conducted, as it is at the Zadko Telescope, also situated onsite. The centre is a key link in the future education and employment opportunities that will arise if Western Australia secures the SKA radio astronomy project. It presents opportunities for collaborations between university students, overseas scholars, schools and the community.

The GDC attracts international funds and expertise. It provides credibility for Western Australia as a leader in science research and development. The GDC forms a critical part in the prospect of LIGO providing $100 million worth of equipment to Australia for the research into gravity waves at onsite. The GDC is the key part of the Gingin Science Precinct. At the GDC we DO science, TRANSLATE science, COMMUNICATE science, and all types of people are EXCITED by and ENGAGED in science.
Participating Universities

The project links academics interested in promoting and enhancing science education from three academic institutions:

The University of Western Australia

Curtin University

The University of Glasgow

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