Yiliyapinya Indigenous Corporation, a name which translates to "brain" in the Wankumara language, is committed to transforming lives and breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage within Indigenous communities.
Yiliyapinya was founded in 2019 by Sheryl Batchelor, who had observed that the impact of toxic stress and adversity on brain development was contributing to declining brain health among Indigenous communities. Sheryl recognised the urgent need for culturally responsive neuroplasticity programs to combat this issue and help First Nations people live healthy, meaningful lives, and Yiliyapinya was born.
At its core, Yiliyapinya's theory of change is rooted in the belief that neuroplasticity programs can be a catalyst for healing; empowering children, young people, and adults to progress on their individual healing journeys while reconnecting culturally. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganise itself and change in response to the environment and experiences. This understanding drives Yiliyapinya to support Queensland’s most disadvantaged young people to strive for a better quality of life.
The organisation offers a range of targeted programs designed to improve brain health:
As an advocate of a holistic approach to healing, Yiliyapinya partners with other stakeholders, including government and service providers. Yiliyapinya is engaged in systems change, demonstrating the role of healthy brains in shifting the odds for children. Yiliyapinya also believes in the importance of the brain health of caregivers and the child-facing workforce and regularly designs and deliver workshops for organisations, businesses, and schools to enhance cognitive skills.
Yiliyapinya is a new TFFF partner and is supported through the Resilience stream, which provides multi-year general operational support funding – the kind of funding for-purpose organisations need most. Yiliyapinya is a comparatively young organisation, although benefits from the significant wisdom and experience of Founder Sheryl Batchelor. The TFFF recognises the value of providing support to strengthen Yiliyapinya’s operational capacity and aims to empower Yiliyapinya, and organisations like it, to focus on its strategic objectives and effectively realise its goals.
Cover photo: Sheryl Batchelor presenting at the Youth Advocacy Centre. All photos courtesy of Yilipinya Indigenous Organisation.
Yiliyapinya Indigenous Corporation is supported through the Resilience stream.