Introducing our recently appointed Marram Nganyin Program Coordinator, Drew Paten!

I’m Drew Paten, a proud Gunai/Kurnai man, raised on Boonwurrung country but forever rooted in the sways of gippsland hills and waterways, with ties through Papakura, Aotearoa.

As I navigated life’s journey, I was fortunate to have remarkable mentors—Aunty Sharon Paten, Nada Aldobasic, and Benjamin Abbatangelo—guiding me, Instilling values of empowerment, joy, prosperity, and protection for those often left behind. For almost a decade, my path has intertwined with understanding the intersection of education and economic development, uncovering systemic flaws perpetuating cycles of disadvantage for First Nations communities here at home and abroad. Guided by steadfast women like Taryn Marks and Jirra Lulla Harvey, I found my purpose in contributing to a bigger picture, aiding our communities.

Now, with a heart full of gratitude, I step into the world of KYC after years of cheering from the sidelines as the Marram Nganyin program coordinator. Collaborating with incredible Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOS), witnessing the success of young minds. KYC, with its rich 20-year history advocating for youth voices, is a torchbearer for change. I am honoured to walk alongside those who have carried the torch for so long, aiming to enhance the flames for the next generation.

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