Our Purpose

Aurora aims to inspire the academic and career aspirations and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We wish to see Indigenous Australians inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academic role models, empowered to excel in tertiary education and becoming the leaders and agents of change in Australian society we know they can be.

Our Story

The Aurora Education Foundation (Aurora) is a national not for profit organisation that works to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve in education. Affiliated with The Aurora Project, we also deliver the activities of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust and Roberta Sykes Education Foundation. In 2017, we confirmed The Aspiration Initiative as the name of our high school program.

Our Board

Anthony Mitchell (Chair)

Anthony Mitchell is the co-founder and Chairman of Bendelta, an advisory firm specialising in strategic planning, leadership development and organisational design.

Anthony is also a member of the Amnesty International Australia 2020 Council, and has a special interest in Indigenous rights. From 2011-16, he was Chairman of Amnesty International Australia.

Julie Coates

Julie Coates is PwC’s National Managing Partner of Priority Clients and Segments Practice and a member of PwC Australia’s executive board. She is also the Financial Services Industry leader and a member of PwC’s global Financial Services extended leadership team.

Shaun Ewen

Professor Shaun Ewen is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at the University of Melbourne and Foundation Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Associate Dean (Indigenous Development) at Melbourne University’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. In his role as PVC Professor Ewen has responsibility for institutional policy, strategy and advice in relation to all aspects of Indigenous higher education. As Foundation Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre he provides academic leadership to the Centre and maintains a strong sense of Indigenous leadership in the health and higher education sectors. Professor Ewen has also been involved in the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) project.

Charles Prouse

Charles Prouse is a Nyikina man from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Charles has worked across Australia and has been involved in the delivery of various Federal programs including Environmental Management, Employment and Youth and Education Programs for Aboriginal communities. Charles has broad experience in Community Capacity Building, Business and Governance. He has recently retired as Chairman of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre. He provides leadership at Lendlease in the infrastructure and construction sector to support Indigenous suppliers. Charles is currently undertaking a Masters of Public Administration at Harvard University.

Craig Ritchie

Craig Ritchie is the Chief Executive Officer of The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’ (AIATSIS).

Craig has held senior positions at AWABAKAL Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), ACT Health, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and the Australian Government Department of Education. Craig Ritchie is a Dhungutti/Biripi man.

Gabrielle Trainor

Gabrielle Trainor has over 20 years of experience on boards in the public and private sector. Gabrielle’s current directorships include OnePath Life and OnePath General Insurance (ANZ Banking Group entities), Infrastructure Australia, the ACT City Renewal Authority and Cape York Partnership. She is a Commissioner of the AFL. She is also the Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive and Barnardo's Australia, a trustee of the Charlie Perkins Trust and a member of the Board of Trustees of Western Sydney University.