Community spirit

Post: Community spirit

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Girls Academy staff work hard to build strong ties in every community they serve and that spirit is certainly alive and well in Karratha.

In a week jampacked with activities, Karratha Girls Academy staff and students showed just how much they value their community and cultural connections.

Even though the official NAIDOC Week has been postponed until November, Karratha Girls Academy still wanted to run its Virtual NAIDOC March through Clothing the Gap.  

More than 90 people turned up to show their support, with primary and high school students and staff, community members, major sponsors, and friends and family taking part in the 5km walk/run. Girls Academy also cooked up a big breakfast for everyone to enjoy once they had finished — they earned it!

“It was an early start but I am so glad I got up early to go,” one student said. “It was fantastic to see so many other students there and get to talk to the Army people. They had their dogs there, which we got to play with.”

Girls Academy program manager Jodi Bampton said the event was not just a wonderful way for the girls to stay active but for the Academy to engage with community and get to know families better.

“It is great to be able to talk about the program and show others how well the girls are doing in a much more relaxed setting,” she said. “The feedback we had from everyone involved was wonderful.”

Staff and students also visited Tambrey Primary School last week to run cultural classes with kindy, pre-primary and Years 3-6 students. The girls shared Dreamtime stories, language books and johnny cakes with the younger ones.

More than 380 students attended the workshops over two days and Girls Academy staff were thrilled to see the confidence their students developed in the classroom, acting as mentors.

“I had so much fun. I was nervous to talk at the start but the kids were excited to ask questions and that made me excited to talk more.”

Karratha Girls Academy staff were so pleased with the response they hope to run more cultural classes in the future. “It was wonderful to see the students stand up in front of everyone and be so proud of their culture,” Jodi said. “We will look at running this workshop in more primary schools to keep spreading a positive message.”

Positivity was the order of the day at Roebourne Reserve, with a special birthday celebration to honour 53 Elders. For the 35 Girls Academy students who attended it was a rich cultural experience, with the opportunity to talk to Elders and hear them
speak about their lives.

The girls also helped to cook an array of dishes, including damper, kangaroo tail, turtle stew and a barbecue. Each student gave an Elder a present and served them tea, conducting themselves with great maturity.

“We are so proud of the girls and the respect they showed throughout the day to everyone who attended,” Jodi said. “This was an incredible cultural experience for the girls to be part of.”

The girls agreed.  “It was really cool to get invited to the Elders’  birthday. I liked talking to the Elders and giving them the presents, and all the food was really yum.”

Well done to everyone involved — your hard work is reaping untold rewards.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.