g-oz Because

Because we believe performing arts education is a powerful way to engage young people

Through engagement in performing arts, girls who participate in g-oz programs learn new skills, but the most important outcomes are those delivered through the ‘hidden curriculum’; improved confidence, self esteem and communication skills. Although g-oz uses the performing arts as a way to engage and inspire participants, it is fair to say that the anticipated outcome of our programs is not necessarily to produce world-class vocalists. Rather we know that performing arts programs are an effective way to encourage participants to take risks and get involved – and we know that the positive flow on effects of this are far reaching.

When activities are fun, social and dynamic, and program leaders engender trust, the performing arts can serve as an early intervention strategy to prevent absenteeism and enhance engagement.

Because there’s no shame in trying

Children, adolescents and young adults who participate in performing arts activities with trusted program leaders will, inevitably, take risks and engage in situations and activities that they otherwise might not. Each time participants experience a fear of trying followed by a successful outcome, they will feel emboldened to try again – or to try an activity in the classroom which is new and potentially challenging. Over the course of a consistently delivered developmental program, children, adolescents and young adults will feel more positive about taking risks in learning environments, and will grow in their confidence to try. This in turn enhances attitudes to considering further study and employment.

Involvement in performing arts activities is widely recognised as a proven way to improve confidence and motivation, and to harness passion. Importantly, children and young people who participate in the performing arts have the opportunity for individual talents to be nurtured within a setting that highly values team work and encourages the development of leadership skills.

Because we believe more can be done to improve education outcomes for Indigenous students – particularly girls and young women

The challenges faced by young people living in communities such as Lockhart River, Kowanyama, Carnarvon, Halls Creek and Bidyadanga are real and significant – concerns such as high unemployment, isolation and mental health issues. While Indigenous girls are 8% more likely to complete Year 12 than their male counterparts, their Year 12 completion rate is still around 26% lower than the Australian average.

While some educational engagement programs are available, there tends to be a focus on sport, and that is simply not enough – there is a dearth of programs designed specifically for girls. g-oz exists to provide an alternative – engaging girls using the performing arts to address disadvantage and break the cycle of poverty. We aim to expand learning opportunities, strengthen connections to family, school and Country, and encourage growth in confidence and resilience. g-oz has a very clear aim of guiding girls away from a culture of shame and low achievement, instead focussing on powerful feelings of success and self confidence.

Because women are the keepers of culture

Studies indicate that women have a particular propensity to lead improvements in the health and wellbeing of their families and communities, and act as catalysts for social change. Accordingly, investments in programs like g-oz which are designed to help improve the health, education and wellbeing of women and girls are often described as having a significant ‘multiplier effect’, based on the cross-generational benefits that those investments support. Girls and women, who are so often the keepers of culture in family and community settings, are empowered as a result of participating in capacity-building programs, and their propensity to engage as active members of their community is nurtured.

Because we believe that the most effective programs are those that are inclusive, enduring and sustainable

One of our greatest strengths is the consistency of our programs. g-oz has been a reliable aspect of the girls’ educational experience in Halls Creek since 2010, in Carnarvon since 2013, Lockhart River since 2016 and Kowanyama and Bidyadanga since 2022. This is a level of commitment that the children and young people in these communities rarely experience, as so many programs just come and go. g-oz is not one of those programs. We know that positive change takes time and persistence, and can’t be achieved overnight.

Our program is not talent based and importantly we don’t exclude any girls from participating in our programs. We work with both children and adults knowing that this work will ultimately serve our aim to enhance the lives of teenaged girls.

Because our program outcomes speak for themselves

Girls who participate in g-oz programs have access to new ways of thinking, new experiences and new opportunities. We’re so pleased to be able to present positive outcomes from our programs and we are excited to see these grow from strength to strength.

Short term, we see a measurable improvement in school attendance rates and engagement in education. This is tracked using quantitative methods such as school attendance records, and qualitative methods such as pre and post program interviews with participants. Since 2010, more than 100 g-oz participants have travelled on 14 travel programs, visiting Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney. Of these girls, 89% are employed or still studying – at their local school, at schools all over the country or in higher education. Long term, we expect that participants bring the skills they have learned back to their communities in an effort to break cross-generational cycles of disadvantage.

Ultimately, g-oz aims to raise the capacity of young women to set and achieve life goals and make meaningful choices – it is about helping to grow and nurture educated, confident, independent, happy and skilled young women.

  • Michelle EllisParent of g-oz participant
    “It gives them a lot of confidence, it encourages them to be more than what they are and makes them feel they are capable of anything.”
  • Melany Beardmoreg-oz participant - Halls Creek District High School
    “I have really enjoyed g-oz coming to Halls Creek because they’re giving us the chance to shine, not be shame and to learn different songs and dances. I have enjoyed being part of the g-oz group because it has helped me to be a stronger person inside.”
  • Rosemary PatersonDeputy Principal - Carnarvon Community College
    "The Girls from Oz instructors coach the girls to be happy, building their self-esteem and resilience using dance and singing as a tool. They interact in the most accepting and caring manner that students respond to. The girls know that Girls from Oz care about them as people first and foremost.”
  • Mysti Bedford-McGintyg-oz Participant - Halls Creek District High School
    “This week I really enjoyed g-oz. G-oz makes me feel very happy, strong and proud of who I am."
  • Kathleen NoonanJournalist
    “Girls from Oz does potent, targeted, nuanced and intelligent work. It knows if you educate a girl, you educate a community.”
  • Darryl DedmanFormer Principal - Halls Creek District High School
    “The self-assurance and poise that result from the g-oz experience are revealed in students’ increasing willingness to speak and perform at our assemblies and, I believe, deliver enhanced prospects for employment, education and community involvement in the future.”
Week Two...and today marks the official halfway point of the g-oz 2024 '100,000 reasons why' Giving Circles Fundraising Campaign! 🌟

This year, g-oz aims to raise $100,000 for our 21st Travel Program which will see g-oz participants from the remote communities of Halls Creek, Lockhart River, Kowanyama, and Bidyadanga have the opportunity to travel to Sydney for a week-long cross-cultural and educational program in November.

Want to donate? Head to our GiveNow page before June 30 2024, link in bio.

To learn more about our Travel Program, head to our website! Link in bio.

#girlsfromoz #encouragecourage #givingcircles #givingcirclescampaign #100000reasonswhy #travelprogram #philanthropy #fundraising
Looking for a good news story to read this long weekend? 📖

Check out the heartwarming write-up in the @capeyorkweekly by Cairns journalist Chisa Hasegawa about the most recent g-oz Reverse Travel Program in Lockhart River - link in bio!

"Experiencing each other's lives, and getting that two-way perspective is so important...for us city whitefella" - Kylie Lee-Archer, g-oz General Manager.

"Just being able to see what we're actually doing these fundraisers for has been really eye-opening." - Ceilidh Welsh, AGC chorister.

This year's Giving Circles Fundraising Campaign funds will go directly towards our 21st Travel Program to Sydney. The Lockhart River g-oz participants will be going from Cape to city this time! 

The week-long program will conclude on stage at the @sydneyoperahouse where participants from Lockhart RIver, Halls Creek, Kowanyama, and Bidyadanga will perform alongside the @ausgirlschoir to an audience of over 2,500 people 🌟

Let's make it happen! How? Donate to our campaign before June 30th 2024 by heading to our GiveNow page, link in bio.

#girlsfromoz #encouragecourage #givingcircles #gozinLockhart #travelprogram #capeyorkweekly #ausgirlschoir #sydneyoperahouse #capeyork #goodnews #goodnewsstory #philanthropy #fundraising
'Illuminating Lockhart' Reverse Travel Program recap in 30 seconds - come with the @ausgirlschoir to Lockhart River! 🌞

Want to learn more about Lockhart River and see more of the two-way learning, connecting, and collaboration between the Lockhart River g-oz participants, Lockhart State School Students, and @ausgirlschoir during the third g-oz RTP? Head to the link in bio to check out our latest Youtube video 📺

#girlsfromoz #ausgirlschoir #gozinLockhart #LockhartRiver