‘Marrma’ Rom’ translates to ‘two worlds, two cultures or two belief systems’ in Yolngu Matha, the language of the people in Arnhem Land. The Marrma’ Rom’ Two Worlds Foundation is a leadership program to empower the next generation of young men from North East Arnhem Land. The vision of this Foundation is to enable young men from Arnhem Land to walk confidently in ‘two worlds’.
The Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation shares the strong, rich Yolngu culture of language, ceremony and customs with people of Geelong and surrounding areas. In exchange these young men learn about the world in which we live. They gain valuable knowledge and skills that will help them survive in this ever-changing, technology driven society. The young men will become independent and develop ‘life skills’ that will enable them to live in both their worlds. They will gain the insight and skills to be role models for their communities in the future.
The Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation is a leadership program for secondary school boys who have already shown leadership ability and a commitment to education. The boys are from various remote communities across North East Arnhem Land; currently we have students from Yirrkala and Gapuwiyak.
The Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation was established in 2011 by Cameron Begg and Melissa Patterson, former teachers at various schools in remote communities and current teachers in Geelong. Both are passionate about Indigenous Education and have a deep understanding of the issues remote communities face.
The MRF has a five-year plan. The selected candidates will commit for at least one year for them to begin to walk in two worlds. When the boys choose to return to their community, the next group of potential leaders will be selected by the elders to enter the program.