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Local businessman gives back, boosts storytelling

A successful businessman who grew up in Redfern community housing and wants to give back has formed a partnership with Redfern non-profit Story Factory to recruit an Indigenous storyteller to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people.

Dr Alan Taylor, Executive Chairman of Clarity Pharmaceuticals, said that after growing up in the area he was excited that both he and his company could support Story Factory.

“My grandparents, after immigrating from Europe after the war, were some of the first people to move into the McKell housing commission units in the early 1960s and lived there until the ’90s. And my earliest memories as a child were living on the 14th floor of the Daniel Solander building in the Waterloo housing complex.

“This experience has given me a unique understanding of the area compared to many of my peers, especially of some of the difficulties some children face through no fault of their own, whether it is a lack of resources, or not knowing where opportunities lie.”

Clarity Pharmaceuticals is a leader in developing next-generation treatments for children and adults with cancer. It is also a company “born, bred and located in Redfern,” Dr Taylor said.

Clarity will assist Story Factory to recruit an Indigenous storyteller to provide high-impact, term-length writing programs to approximately 480 students in 2022, including approximately 100 Indigenous young people.

Research has demonstrated that young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have better academic outcomes when taught by people who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait descent or have strong links to these communities.

The latest Program for International Student Assessment data also found that Indigenous young people were on average 2.3 years behind their non-Indigenous peers in literacy. To help reduce this gap, Story Factory has worked with more than 6,000 young Indigenous people since opening in 2012.

The new partnership with Clarity will enable Story Factory to reach more young people, improve their writing skills and find their voice.

“We are excited to be able to contribute to assisting Story Factory with providing these kids with some resources, knowledge and avenues for a new generation of leaders, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and storytellers who will shape the future of our area,” Dr Taylor said. “Story Factory is an ideal fit for us in our community of Redfern, to support these kids to write their own stories and imagine their own bright futures.”

Both Story Factory’s and Clarity Pharmaceuticals’ head offices are located in the heart of the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.

Story Factory’s Executive Director, Dr Catherine Keenan, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Clarity. Both our organisations started in Redfern and it’s wonderful to find a company so committed to supporting the local area.”

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www.sydneystoryfactory.org.au

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