Welcome to Buldau Yioohgen, Uncle Les Corlett!

Uncle Les Corlett, the new Cultural Engagement Officer for the Buldau Yioohgen ‘Big Dreams’ Indigenous Leadership Academy, was thrown straight in the deep end when he started in his role earlier this year. Uncle Les and the Buldau Yioohgen mob travelled to Darwin to take part in the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival (NITC) and then on to Litchfield National Park to meet with local Elders to experience a deeper connection to culture and heritage.

Uncle Les Corlett, the new Cultural Engagement Officer.

“The young people were very interested in listening to Elders speaking about their culture and they were so respectful to them, which was great to see,” Uncle Les said.

He also helped to organise BY’s first ever Aboriginal art workshop with Uncle Ray Thomas in November. It was a strong start for the proud Gunditjmara and Wiradjuri man, who has dedicated his career to working with Indigenous young people challenges within their family and communities.

Growing up, Uncle Les felt a disconnection from his cultural heritage, coming through his teenage years without a full sense of his identity or cultural story. Driven by lived experience, Uncle Les now strives for positive change and outcomes for Buldau Yioohgen’s young people.

Uncle Les previously worked across a range of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), including the Aboriginal Advancement League, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), and most recently as a Conciliation Conference Convenor with the Children’s Court of Victoria. In his career, he has seen the positive impact of culture on the lives of young people.

Les is looking forward to bringing a therapeutic side to Buldau Yioohgen in 2023, supporting young people to build mental health resilience and leadership skills as they foster their connection to culture.

He believes in supporting Indigenous youth through cultural immersion, and that BY offers a “one-of-a-kind” program which gives its participants access to a range of career pathways, rich cultural connection and an immersive leadership experience. Anglicare Victoria and Buldau Yioohgen are excited to welcome Uncle Les as part of the team, and the cultural engagement and knowledge he will provide to young people on their journey.

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