Arthur Alla

Reconciliation champion and Founder of Red Earth

2017 NSW Young Australian of the Year

While volunteering for a year in Cape York, Arthur Alla listened to the wisdom of Aboriginal elders and wanted other young people to have the same opportunity. So in 2011, Arthur set up Red Earth, an organisation that gives Indigenous Australians from remote homelands a way to host young people from the city. For two weeks, high school students live with traditional owners and local kids, volunteering on projects and learning about the world’s oldest enduring culture. Arthur’s work is deeply rooted in reconciliation: elders show their country with pride, telling their stories with their own voice, and choosing the projects that will add the most value to their homelands. Aboriginal children make friends and gain insights into life in the city, while visiting high school students open their hearts to first Australians. Arthur’s work has connected 1,100 students who have spent over 370,000 hours learning from and working alongside Traditional Owners in Arnhem Land, Cape York and Central Australia.