The Smugglers Of Light Foundation


Eli Westlake aged 21, was tragically killed in Sydney on 7th June 2008.

At the suggestion of his friends and in honour of Eli, his family have established the Smugglers of Light Foundation to provide assistance to young indigenous musicians and youth at risk through programs of taking film-makers and musicians to indigenous and “at risk” communities to develop song-writing, story-telling, musicianship and performance skills.

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) has agreed to work with us to establish and run the Smugglers of Light Foundation.

APRA is a non-profit collecting society, established in 1926, for songwriters, composers and music publishers.

The Foundation has been established to accept donations, to be held in trust, to be used to further the objectives of the Foundation, and to that end, the trustees resolved to establish a charitable trust and have been successful in seeking incorporation for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and relevant New South Wales legislation.

Our Patron – Gail Mabo


My name is Gail Mabo. I am the daughter of Eddie Koiki Mabo who was a political activist, land rights campaigner and father. I am the fourth child of Edward and Boneta Mabo. I was born in Townsville, Queensland but my family comes from Mer (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait. We are from the Paidram Clan and our totem is the shark.

On leaving high school I joined the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre from 1984 to 1987. I have appeared in short films and plays such as Jack Davis No Sugar and Jimmy Chis Bran Nue Dae. My father inspired me to dance and encouraged me to share our culture with all Australians. He was my role model. Through his strength and determination he taught me to be a stronger person and to stand up for what I believe in.

Today I work in schools and communities throughout New South Wales teaching dance and acting as a cultural adviser.

Our Purpose

  • To introduce song-writing, musicianship and performance skills to youth at risk and indigenous communities.
  • To document on film and/or audio, the performances of indigenous musicians.
  • To teach skills in song-writing to indigenous musicians and youth at risk.
  • To assist in the provision of musical education and training to persons in the area of youth and indigenous music, in order to improve the outreach of musical education and storytelling in Australia.
  • To provide facilities for education and training including scholarships, research grants and travel grants to persons in the area of musical education in youth at risk and indigenous communities to develop and improve the musical education of young indigenous Australians.
  • To facilitate exchange programs between indigenous communities and education institutions in Australia
  • To facilitate musical development and innovation in Australian indigenous communities; and
  • To encourage performance of contemporary community music