“I feel it is my duty and a privilege to be given the opportunity to mentor our young Indigenous girls. Mainly because looking back at myself as a young mum at 16, I did not realise the importance of education or connecting with my cultural identity at that time.”
Madonna Humbert, development officer at Aldridge Girls Academy in Queensland, was interviewed by the National Indigenous Times about our program and the importance of staying connected through these challenging times.
As students across Australia return to school and settle back into the new normal in coming weeks, it is good to be reminded of the huge effort Girls Academy staff put in to ensuring the girls were supported.
Girls Academy secured mobile phones for all development officers, so they could assist program managers in maintaining regular contact. Moondani Toombadool Centre, at Swinburne University of Technology, helped support this crucial step by funding up to 60 telephone contracts for development officers.
“When I received the phone, it was a lot easier to communicate with the girls, even just to be able to text them as some kids prefer to text,” Madonna told the National Indigenous Times.
The mother of six joined Girls Academy in July last year. Though circumstances meant she was unable to finish high school, she was determined to ensure all her children did. With her youngest, twin boys, now in Year 11, she’s almost there.
“I’ve always encouraged my children (and taught them) that education is important, and I will continue to teach that same value to our future young Indigenous women,” she said in the interview.
Girls Academy is privileged to have such a positive role model encouraging the leaders of tomorrow.