Wondering about what Tjindu means?
Well the Tjindu Foundation takes its name – and inspirations – from the symbolism of the sun.
Tjindu meaning is about bright horizons
For many Aboriginal language groups across South Australia, Tjindu [pronounced Jin – Doo] is the word for sun, or sunshine.
This word was chosen as the name for the Tjindu Foundation as it appropriately encapsulates our founders’ intent to create positive opportunities for growth and development of Aboriginal people and young people along a path to a bright future.
Tjindu Foundation co-founder Paul Vandenbergh is a Wirangu man from South Australia’s far west coast and explains that the name Tjindu guides the foundation is helping young people carve out a bright future for themselves.
“The Tjindu Foundation has been a dream for around five years, and came to fruition with when April Lawrie and I identified a need to have an Aboriginal-led organisation designed to drive health and wellbeing, education and cultural development outcomes for kids independent of government and private organisations,” Mr Vandenbergh says.
“Through our Tjindu AFL Max Academy and Tjindu STRONG programs, the Tjindu Foundation supports First Nations children in undertaking and successfully completing their Year 12 studies and transitioning into meaningful employment and further education.
“Aboriginal young people need an opportunity to positively engage in the schooling system and in their culture.
“Through our programs we will be able to facilitate cultural immersion, and start allowing our kids to understand cultural identity, songlines, stories, men’s and women’s business, and grow into our leaders of tomorrow.”
Tjindu Foundation co-founder and chair April Lawrie echoed Mr Vandenbergh’s comments.
The Mirning and Kokatha woman – also from SA’s far west coast – explains that while the core component of the foundation’s work will be in youth development, it will also provide opportunities for older, non-First Nations peoples to engage with Aboriginal culture.
“Through the Tjindu Foundation, we’re engaging our young people and their families in the education system and helping them complete and transition from year 12 into meaningful employment or further education and/or into professional sport,” Ms Lawrie explains.
“Alongside this, our cultural awareness workshops will help businesses create culturally-aware workplaces, so our young people can be supported upon entering the workforce.
“Creating greater cultural awareness for Aboriginal and non-indigenous people is a core objective of the Tjindu Foundation.
“Long-term we aim to develop and implement best-practice cultural camps, where our young people can be immersed within their own culture, and where we can work with government and private stakeholders to understand and communicate the needs of our next generation of leaders.”