Waverley Stanley is an Indigenous man who grew up in Murgon and Cherbourg in Queensland. He received a full boarding scholarship at the Toowoomba Grammar School from 1980 to 1984. This opportunity came about through Rosemary Bishop recognising something special in Waverley when he was 12 years old and she was instrumental in organising this opportunity for Waverley.
Waverley credits the sporting disciplines, teamwork and leadership opportunities presented to him at Toowoomba Grammar School in preparing him to undertake many leading roles in his community. The scholarship was the catalyst for Waverley to change the course of his life. As the only Indigenous student at Toowoomba Grammar School he feels this laid the foundation of the character, resilience and attitude that has served him well throughout adult life.
Through Yalari, Waverley is now offering the same opportunities that he was given as a student to other Indigenous children. 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.