g-oz in Action

Having delivered a number of successful programs between 2007 and 2009 in Australia and overseas, our focus since 2009 was on Australia’s West where we have been working primarily with girls and young women in the communities of Halls Creek and Carnarvon. In 2015, g-oz piloted its first program outside Western Australia, in the Far North Queensland town of Lockhart River. In 2016 g-oz has continued working with the girls and young women in Halls Creek, Carnarvon and Lockhart River.

The identified priorities of the schools in which we work are attendance, literacy and numeracy, social skills and behaviour. It is recognised that many students are 'at-risk' with a history of poor school attendance, low levels of literacy and numeracy, feelings of alienation from the school system and society in general, negative peer association, poorly developed life skills, and issues of social and emotional wellbeing including substance abuse and street fighting. A complex mix of personal, home and school-related factors contribute to disengagement from school and community. Many give up on school early. It is common for young women to drop out of school early and to become mothers at a very early age.

We aim to address the dire lack of opportunities for Indigenous girls and young women in many communities, and as such address a need for equity. Indigenous boys and young men in both Halls Creek and Carnarvon are supported by a successful and well-resourced Clontarf Academy but there is no similar program to engage non-sports orientated children, or girls and young women.

Key objectives of our g-oz programs are to create appropriate and realistic pathways for girls by encouraging them to remain in school and facilitating their transition to further training, education and employment, and to good citizenship. The programs seek to do this by raising the capacity of students to make meaningful choices and enact change in their own lives.

The main benefits of providing high quality performing arts activities to children and young people are:

  • improved engagement with school
  • increased range of activities that help to grow interpersonal and communication skills leading to improved self confidence
  • increased access to positive role models and mentors
  • the opportunity to explore education and training options

We believe that regular visits from specialised educators combined with ongoing support from leaders within community makes an ideal combination. There is little opportunity for students in remote areas to encounter specialists or to engage with national organisations and this makes both possible. It also makes capacity building within the community a priority.

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