Notre Dame academic named Youth of the Year

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 26-7-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Dedication, passion and love for his people has seen Notre Dame academic, Kiel Williams-Weigel, presented with the NAIDOC Youth of the Year award.

Mr Williams-Weigel was recognised as a role model for Indigenous students and an inspiration for young educators at the 2011 NAIDOC National Awards, held as part of the national NAIDOC Week celebrations across Australia.

Nominated by The University of Notre Dame Australia’s (UNDA) Executive Dean of Education, Professor Michael O’Neill, he currently works with lecturers to deliver an Indigenous education unit in the School of Education, Fremantle.

As the result of collaboration between UNDA’s School of Education and Clontarf Aboriginal College in 2010, a literacy program was initiated at Clontarf which saw Indigenous students being offered the opportunity to hone their literacy skills and to build their confidence, while being tutored by Notre Dame pre-service teachers.

Senior Lecturer, Ms Glenda Cain, says Kiel has played a key role in making the partnership between Clontarf and UNDA such a success.

“His knowledge and dedication to improving the outcomes of Indigenous students are admired by all,” Ms Cain said.

“Kiel is an inspiration. He is a talented, passionate teacher whose enthusiasm, energy and positive disposition influences everyone in his presence. We are privileged to have him as a member of our teaching staff.”

Mr Williams-Weigel said that he was grateful to Notre Dame for providing him with opportunities for professional development.

“It is very easy for young teachers' opinions to be discouraged due to their lack of experience. Notre Dame has always valued my opinions and ideas, rather than focus on my age, and I truly thank them for that.

“The UNDA staff is an absolute pleasure to work with. Without their support I would not have received this award,” said Mr Williams-Weigel.

“I sincerely hope that the partnership between Notre Dame and Clontarf will be ongoing and continue to promote high-literacy standards for our Indigenous students into the future.”

Media Contact: Leigh Dawson (+61) 8 9433 0569, Mob (+61) 0405 441 093

Photograph courtesy of Wayne Quilliam