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UPDATE May, 2016

We are most pleased to welcome a new Director to our Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust Board - Leah Rothwell.  Leah is a dynamic and caring young woman who has been working in a voluntary capacity with our Wallaga Lake Study Centre program. Leah, recently returned from living in New Zealand with her partner, James and young daughter Edith (Edie) and they are now living in Cobargo NSW.

Our Study Centre program is being jointly run in partnership with the Ngaardi Women's Group and with our employed Co-ordinator, Liza Morris.  In addition, the Narooma Red Cross and their volunteers are generously offering a Healthy Eating component to the Study Centre, which functions two afternoons per week.

Our volunteer tutors and assistants along with our Board Directors, Sean Burke, Stuart Absalom, Leah Rothwell and our Advisor to the EGST Board, Sr Laurel all offer their services voluntarily towards this program which is well attended by children from the Wallaga Lake Koori Community. This program has been enabled through the generous grants offered to our Trust from the Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund and the Australia Post 2015 Our Neighbourhood Community Grant and from contributions made by individuals in the wider community and further afield.

 It is our hope that this valuable after-school study program can continue to provide support for these children to enable them to bridge the gap for their educational futures. Anyone who is interested to make a donation towards this program is invited to contact our Treasurer, Stuart Absalom for details - email: <shabsalom47@gmail.com>  All donations over $2 are tax deductible and receipted.

Resignation of former Director: It was with regret that we accepted the resignation of our former Director, Magella Blinksell, who offered much in ideas and support during her time on our Board.  Due to her need to support her mother in her health needs she had offered her resignation. Thank you Magella for all that you offered and we now welcome you as a new Associate Member.

Anyone wishing to become an Associate Member of the Trust is asked to contact us on: <egstrust2@gmail.com>
Narooma News 15 October 2015

Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust

A NEW PROJECT - Wallaga Lake Study Centre

We are seeking your urgent support so that this valuable program can be re-opened for 2015.

Due to lack of funding this resource for Indigenous children of both primary and high school age is now closed despite the great outcomes that have resulted from children attending this after-school Study Centre. It assists them to complete homework and course work set by their schools, improves their literacy and numeracy skills, and aids in communication, confidence and academic outcomes.

Many of the children lack needed resources in their homes such as computers, resource material and the help of trained volunteer teaching staff to confidently complete their homework. The Study Centre promotes healthy development, socially and academically, and allows Aboriginal children to become confident and proud youngsters who can look forward to completing their schooling so as to enter into quality employment for the future.

Past results have shown greatly enhanced school attendance now averaging 92%, increase in homework completion rate from 20% to 70%, and reduced days lost through suspension as acknowledged by the five schools where the children attend. In addition to caring support and assistance with academic work the Study Centre offers creative arts and crafts and an after-school healthy food snack.

We hold great hope for expanding the scope for the Study Centre into the future with projects which will further nurture the children's pride in their Aboriginal heritage and culture.  This will allow opportunities such as teaching film-making to enable them to tell and record their own stories, or interview the elders in their community, ensuring that these stories are documented and kept as an historical record for future generations.

We hope that you can catch hold of this vision and share with us the wonderful things that are possible for the future of the Study Centre. FOR NOW THE NEED IS URGENT – we need funds to open the Study Centre for this school year due to cuts or delays in Government grants. This is seriously impacting on all Aboriginal children. WE NEED TO SERIOUSLY 'BRIDGE THE GAP' – please assist us to do this.

Should you feel able to support us with a donation to getting this valuable resource up and running very soon we would be extremely grateful. ALL DONATIONS OF $2 OR MORE ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. All donations will be receipted. A direct deposit into this program is available: EGS Trust Project A/c BSB 032766 Account No: 139061 Please indicate that funds are for Wallaga Lake Study Centreand email us at egstrust2@gmail.com with your contact details for receipting purposes. OR you can mail a cheque to: Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust Project A/c – 2 Emma Close Dalmeny NSW 2546 indicating (Wallaga Lake Study Centre Program) and include your name and address for receipting.


After five years of court hearings, the trials of Sr Laurel Lloyd-Jones came to an end last week in a judgement handed down in the NSW District Court by Judge Gibson DCJ.

Sr Lloyd-Jones was sued by Cr Tony Allen (who was Mayor of Bega Valley Shire Council at the time) in 2009 for defamation over statements she made in a letter to the NSW Premier and Minister for Police in that year regarding events in Bermagui in 2006 complaining about Cr Allen’s behaviour leading up to and during a meeting with a family in Bermagui in 2006 where he was accompanied by Cr Jeanette Neilson, then BVSC Deputy Mayor.

As a result of a hearing in 2010, the judgement by Judge Colefax SC DCJ in 2011 found Sr Lloyd-Jones to be guilty of four defamation imputations from her statements and ordered to pay $50,000 in general damages plus $15,000 in aggravated damages.

On appeal to the Supreme Court in 2012, two of the four imputations were set aside and sent back to the District Court for determination in terms of truth with a reassessment of the damages award.

Those imputations were:

(a) The plaintiff, the Mayor of Bega Valley Shire, conducted himself inappropriately as Mayor in that he bullied a woman. and

(c) The plaintiff intimidated a woman by acting in a bullying and overpowering manner over the phone.

The hearing in the District Court was held over three days in March this year with the determination handed down on 17th

April 2014. Judge Gibson determined that Sr Laurel Lloyd-Jones succeeded in her defence of justification to both imputations, meaning that both these imputations from her

statement in the letter of 2010 were not defamatory because they were true, the then Mayor did bully a woman and intimidated her by acting in a bullying and overpowering manner.

In reassessing the damages, Judge Gibson took into account “reparation for harm done, consolation for personal hurt and distress, and vindication.” Her determination rejected any award of aggravated compensatory damages and awarded general damages of $6,000 to Cr Allen for imputations (b) and (d) which were not part of her hearing.

Tired and bankrupt, Sr Laurel Lloyd-Jones can now get on with her life as a treasured Good Samaritan of our community who has had to deal with five years of trauma for supporting a distressed local family in need.

The full text of the judgement is available at http://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/action/PJUDG?jgmtid=171061.

Contact: Seán Burke Mob: 0411 779 571  Reconciliation and Justice Committee


Report from Associate Member Marlene Wall on "Koori Parents as Mentors Program" Meeting held 23rd February 2010 at Little Yuin Family Centre, Wallaga Lake.  This program is being funded by PACE and involves the staff of Narooma High School and parents of indigenous students. 

Hello Everyone,
I was representing Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust at yesterday's PACE meeting so on behalf of the Trust - and myself - I'd like to say a big congratulations and thanks to all involved in planning, funding and working with PACE.
Having been involved with teaching since 1954 I've seen many changes as you can imagine and personally, your initiatives are certainly the most welcome I've ever experienced.
Indigenous disadvantage is the most important social justice issue Australia faces and it's wonderful to see positive, practical and far-reaching education improvements and changes being made.
To observe the professional co-operation, discussion, commitment, exchange of views, evaluation of strategies etc. etc. between blackfellas and whitefellas was inspiring and exhilarating  to share.
I know there's still a long way to go - eg. Aboriginal teachers, but it's great to see this progress.
Shirley and Tracey - remember the homework centre in the (then) new hall that stumbled and fell over around 1995 ? What work and perseverance you've shown, since then and before then. Big praise to all that's happening now.
What an achievement this is so far - and getting stronger. 
Congrats and thanks again,
Marlene Wall
Wallaga Lake
Ass. Member, Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust



Narooma News

Judicial Commission tackles Aboriginal issues at Wallaga

25 Nov, 2009 03:16 PM
THE visit of the NSW Judicial Commission to Wallaga Lake and Narooma has been deemed a success and should lead to better outcomes for indigenous locals.

Sister Laurel Lloyd-Jones of Dalmeny and the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust said the visit was a result of issues she raised when speaking at the Judicial Commission’s “Exchanging Ideas” conference last May in Sydney.

“At this time I spoke of my concerns regarding judicial matters, policing issues and lack of appropriate leadership within the wider community as well as the indigenous community of this region,” Sister Lloyd-Jones said.

“This was the first time that the Judicial Commission has come to the South Coast to hold a forum to explore and to learn about Aboriginal cultural issues and they spoke of their keenness to look, learn and to listen and to promote a better understanding of Aboriginal communities and the role of judicial officers.”

Visiting commission members said this was the best attended forum out of the six that they have held so far and were impressed by the willingness of the indigenous people and their elders to share so openly their concerns and issues.

A total of 28 participants from the Judicial Commission representing the Supreme Court, District Court and Local Court and staff of the Judicial Commission attended.

Some of the issues raised were:

* Need for Circle Sentencing for this region

* Ongoing inadequacy of transport for indigenous people to be able to access medical appointments, or general shopping needs - especially for those living at Wallaga Lake.

* The lack of mutual respect between the local police and the indigenous community and the need for this to improve through communication and interaction.

* Racism openly expressed towards them and their children from shopkeepers who refuse to serve them – attitudes that assumed they would shop-lift due to being Aboriginal people.

They spoke of times when a mother sends her child to purchase bread and milk and they are refused service, and the ongoing trauma that this creates for the child and the parents.

* Lack of assured funding for Katungal Medical Centre – often having to re-apply every year and in recent times have had funds cut despite Federal Government promises to close the gap between indigenous and mainstream health funding.

Sister Lloyd-Jones said the indigenous community saw a need for ongoing interaction and dialogue with the Judicial Commission as they found it very helpful and offered them hope that they finally may have a compassionate ear.

Eurobodalla mayor Fergus Thompson attended the whole weekend forum and offered his support to endeavour to find solutions to the many problems raised. He is planning a meeting with key stakeholders in the near future.

Police superintendent Sean Gersbach from Batemans Bay Area Command attended along with Sgt. Janeene Michelle and Aboriginal liaison Officer Daphne Parsons who offered a most interesting presentation on the Wanga Idingii Youth Program that they are providing for young indigenous folk.

Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor Gary Pudney, Aboriginal field officer Michelle Jessop, Aboriginal courts specialist Glenda Jessop and Women's Domestic Violence Court Service program co-ordinator Danielle Neves all gave overviews of the services that they represent.

“Some immediate outcomes from issues raised have resulted and this gives great hope that the seeds of communication fostered over this weekend will germinate and produce great outcomes,” Sister Lloyd-Jones said.

Local News Update - 11th November 2009
Koori Educational Project
Yesterday I facilitated the meeting between the Senior Staff of Narooma High and the indigenous parents.  It was held at the Narooma Motor Inn conference centre due to the past memories that many of the parents still hold in relation to their time at the school.  It had the potential to be very tricky however I am pleased with how it all went and so many positive and potential outcomes resulted.  I have been asked on behalf of our EGS Trust to remain involved with the program - 'Koori Parents as Mentors' which was devised by the Aboriginal Education Officer, Cherrie Morley, at the school,   It is being funded through the PACE (Parent & Community Engagement) project which is funded by the Federal Govt. until 2012.  Some excellent ideas were brought forward and the rep. from the Education Dept. was able to steer these to currently funded programs which would enable them to access tutors, alternative outcomes to suspention in relation to discipline etc.
Once I have the scribes list to hand I will make a fuller report for anyone who might be interested to know more about this program.
One heartening additional remark made to me personally by the Deputy Principal following the meeting was his intention to go back and organise for a Koori Elder to come to the school once per month and take the Koori Kids down under a gum tree for a "yarn" - let's hope that this will happen and eventually grow to when the Elder invites others not indigenous into this group.
There is a request that anyone who would be interested to be involved as a tutor to assist with literacy & numeracy skills at the Little Yuin Family Centre who plan to run a facility for homework resources etc. - so should you be interested to volunteer for this could you get back to me.  The Family Centre will provide computer, text books and a program list of required assignments etc. for students at Wallaga Lake community.  This will be a joint project between the school and the Family Centre.
I also suggested that ongoing funding locally could be applied for through IMB, Mumbulla Foundation etc. and approaches to Service organisations such as Rotary in an endeavour to access funds to maintain the lap-top computers which are being given to all Yr 9 students to take home (they will be able to keep these if they complete Yr. 12.)  With all students being required now to remain at school until 17 yrs. this will require quite some support for the students to enable them to upgrade their skills.
Warm regards,
AGM MEDIA REPORT - 19th September 2009

Elm Grove Sanctuary Limited, a not for profit company and the auspicing body for the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust which is a charitable and philanthropic foundation, held its Annual General Meeting at Dalmeny on 19th September 2009.

At their recent AGM, Gray (Dipak) Ramsey was appointed as a new Director and Trustee, and was warmly welcomed by Board members and Associates. With regret, the resignation of long-standing Director/Trustee, Sr. Anne McLeod-Nibbs was accepted however she will now move to being an Associate Member due to demanding p

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