Dame Quentin Bryce, AD, CVO spent the week leading up to National Reconciliation Week in the Kimberley uniting with Girls from Oz in support of Reconciliation.
Along with g-oz Chair, Nicole Muir AM, Ms Bryce visited Bidydanga, where she chatted with locals over morning tea at the Women’s Centre and spent time at La Grange Remote Community School including attending a community assembly.
While in community, Ms Bryce met Aunty Maureen, (pictured above), a Mangala woman who speaks her own and the 4 other Bidgy languages and who works tirelessly in the school and community to pass on culture and language.
With Aunty Maureen’s permission we will soon begin teaching the school children a version of ‘I am Australian’, with verses in the five local languages and a chorus that says “we are many language groups but we are one Bidyadanga mob”.
During the week, Ms Bryce also travelled to Halls Creek, where she met with local Elders and past g-oz participants and watched the girls at Halls Creek District High School rehearse with g-oz Instructors.
It’s been wonderful for Ms Bryce to be with the Halls Creek girls before they travelled to Kununurra to perform at the Ord Valley Muster.
Ms Bryce first visited Halls Creek and spent time with the girls back in 2010 when serving as Australia’s first female Governor-General and she’s happy to have re-connected with some of the girls who had a sleepover at Admiralty House when they were in Sydney with g-oz.
Ms Bryce says “It’s absolutely inspiring to be part of this. I feel so proud to talk about it to everybody I meet. Because what you see in Girls from Oz is so real. It does make a difference, it does change lives. It does empower young girls.”