Meet the TR Foundation volunteers!

Michael Coffey, Emily Chalmers and Sam Johnson (Nate Anderson is absent)

TR Foundation has recently hosted four volunteers who have contributed greatly to the Foundation and its development as a leading not-for-profit entity.

The TR Foundation put the call out in December last year, hoping to find some skilful volunteers who could help with the ongoing operations, fundraising and development of the Foundation. This would invigorate the Foundation, linking it up with other charities, and helping with community relations, project ideas and engagement.

For any new charity, the reliance on volunteer support is critical in the first few years and helps to define the identity of a not-for-profit.

From numerous expressions of interest we selected four volunteers who have spent the last 10 weeks researching, assisting with project ideas, and preparing for the TR Foundation Launch to be held on 7 April 5-7 pm.

Emily Chalmers

“I’m from Perth and studied Indigenous Cultural Studies at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University. I went on to study honours in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Western Australia as I found that Anthropology and Sociology provided a different way of approaching questions in the Indigenous affairs sector. This placement provides me with experience working with Aboriginal groups as my previous working experience was entirely desktop based, working with funding and grant systems. Through the placement I have been researching and working on Aboriginal cultural tourism and arts projects, which tie into existing projects with the Badimia community. This has involved the analysis of work already done, and breaking down the project into phases of development to best align with the aspirations of the community and the strategic goals of various funding bodies.”

Michael Coffey

“I’m from the Fremantle area, a proud Sandgroper! I’ve recently completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Asian Studies and Indonesian. I recently completed an internship in Indonesia with a think tank doing research into post disaster recovery and internally displaced peoples following natural disasters. My study background offered a great deal of crossover with Anthropology and the importance of cultural heritage and preservation. I’ve also volunteered in the past with indigenous youth which piqued my interest in creating better social opportunities for young people, which is something that TR Foundation support. For me, the placement offers invaluable experience in the professional workplace. I’m learning about the bureaucratic side of things as well as all the cultural, etymological and mythological aspects of the involved Traditional Owner groups.”

Sam Johnson

A recent emigre from the UK, I graduated in 2016 with a degree in Modern History and Politics from the University of Southampton. Whilst at university I interned for a not-for-profit and was selected as a participant for a 2015 research and cultural immersion trip to India funded by the British Council. I am passionate about all things history and I was excited by the opportunity to gain experience within a heritage focused charity. Concurrently, the placement offers a deep insight into how charities operate and function on an administrative level. Having had limited exposure or knowledge of Indigenous culture, I was keen to learn all that I could – what better way to do this than being surrounded by anthropological and archaeological experts. Working in the positive and open environment that the TR Foundation operates in has fuelled my curiosity and feel I have learned and developed both professionally and educationally.”

Nate Anderson

“Growing up, I moved around the US quite a bit, but always lived in rural areas. After uni, I moved to the desert of Utah and took youth-at-risk on extended wilderness trips, while teaching an alternative high school curriculum, helping them with therapeutic goals, and trying to provide a positive role model in their lives. In 2016, I had the privilege of exploring the King Leopold Range in the Kimberley for 35 days. It was amazing and has helped give me that last push to return to university for Environmental Science. I would like to get back to the Kimberley to do field work. As such, it is important for me to know more about the different legal framework regarding conservation and land management of WA. During the placement I have been researching Indigenous joint management models and the establishment of ranger programs.”