Moriarty Foundation co-founders honoured with UNESCO Achievement Award

(pictured above L-R Helen Rice, Chairperson UNESCO Clubs – Adelaide Chapter, Ros Moriarty, John Moriarty, Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia)

On 1 June 2021 Moriarty Foundation co-founders Yanyuwa man John Moriarty and Ros Moriarty were presented with a UNESCO Achievement Award for their work in giving voice to Australia’s Aboriginal narrative and improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Presented by His Excellency, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia and Mrs Lan Le, patrons of the Adelaide Chapter of UNESCO Clubs, Australia’s only UNESCO Club, the achievement award recognises Ros Moriarty and John Moriarty’s outstanding contribution to society.

Co-Chair of Moriarty Foundation and Chair of Balarinji, John Moriarty, said, “We are immensely proud to receive this global honour.”

“Balarinji has been a trailblazer of Aboriginal design in Australia for more than 35 years, celebrating and giving voice to Aboriginal people, culture, art, stories and knowledge through projects that have helped to shape Australia’s foundational identity. We have an incredible team who are committed to authentic engagement, co-design and respect.”

“As part of our commitment to Aboriginal Australia, in 2011 we established the Moriarty Foundation with the aim of radically shifting intergenerational disadvantage for Indigenous children, families and communities. Our programs are achieving 11 of the 16 Closing the Gap targets, recognised by our partnership with global leader UNICEF (Australia),” added Mr Moriarty.

Managing Director of Balarinji and Co-Chair and Hon Managing Director of Moriarty Foundation, Ros Moriarty, said, “Moriarty Foundation’s two initiatives, John Moriarty Football and Indi Kindi are community-driven, authentic and transformational. Every day our dedicated local educators, community coaches, team leaders and head office staff are creating immense positive change in remote and regional communities to disrupt disadvantage.”

John Moriarty Football (JMF) is Australia’s most successful and longest-running Indigenous football program. It is a transformational skills mastery program that reaches nearly 2,000 Indigenous 6-18 year olds in 18 communities and schools. JMF uses football (soccer) for talent and positive change, improving school attendance and achieving resilient, healthier outcomes in Indigenous communities.

Indi Kindi is a ground-breaking early years initiative for children under five in remote Aboriginal communities, integrating health, wellbeing, education and community development to give children the best start in life. Indi Kindi reaches 80 percent of 0-5 year olds in the communities where it’s delivered and is expanding to Tennant Creek in Northern Territory in late 2021.

The Moriarty Foundation was established at the request of senior Law women from remote Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory,  Mr Moriarty’s family community. They wanted to see their children better educated.

Borroloola, like many remote Indigenous communities in Australia, suffers severe disadvantages, life expectancy is only 58 years, the unemployment rate is 50 percent and the average school attendance rate is 52 percent compared to the Australia-wide average of 91 percent. 20 percent of Australia’s 850,000 Indigenous people live in remote areas.

There are 4,000 Clubs, Centres and Associations for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that operate in more than 100 countries with the purpose of acting in UNESCO’s fields of competence at the grass root level. The UNESCO Clubs – Adelaide Chapter, is Australia’s only UNESCO Club.

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