Rob Riley prize winners announced

Asset Publisher

19 February 2024

Reward and recognition Public school life

Two WA top-performing Aboriginal public school graduates have been named recipients of the 2023 Rob Riley Memorial Prize.

Reilly Cockbain from Cape Naturaliste College was awarded the 2023 Rob Riley Memorial Prize for ATAR, and Melville Senior High School graduate Lailah Frazer was named the 2023 VET prize winner.

The annual Prize is awarded to the highest achieving Aboriginal students in public schools.

Reilly studied economics, geography, maths applications, and English in Year 12, and also completed general business management and enterprise.

Reilly plans to travel during his gap year this year and will be working in the interim. He hopes to attend university next year but would like to see what inspires him on his travels to explore further.

“Reilly’s success is a reflection of the determination, dedication, and perseverance he showcased throughout his schooling years,” Cape Naturaliste College principal Rob Nail said.

“The staff of Cape Naturaliste College, along with the wider community, are exceptionally proud of Reilly, and we are delighted to see his achievements celebrated through the Rob Riley Memorial Prize.

“Reilly is a talented, kind, and humble young man who has left a wonderful and lasting legacy at the College.”

Lailah completed certificate qualifications during her schooling in aviation (cabin crew), workplace skills, retail cosmetics, and skills for work and vocational pathways. She was also awarded a VET Certificate of Excellence for business and financial services and information communications technology, and a Certificate of Distinction.

Lailah said she has since applied for a cadetship with the Western Australian Police Force and volunteers at a not-for-profit organisation.

“Like Mr Rob Riley, I aspire to be an advocate for those who don’t feel heard and will continue to embrace his legacy,” she said.

“Moorditj Kullingar, meaning deadly kids or strong children, is a safe haven for Aboriginal mothers and children within the Kwinana Community and surrounds. There, I have been assisting in playgroups, donation distributions, cooking and learning and embracing my Noongar culture.

“This is where I developed my passion for giving back to the community and assisting those deemed at risk and vulnerable. I felt confident in being a voice for those who may not have the confidence or means to do so themselves.”

Prize winners received $5,000 each to further their education and training, a copy of Rob Riley’s biography, and a certificate.

The Rob Riley Memorial Prize is named in honour of the late Aboriginal human rights advocate.