Term 1 Community Program News
Community leaders, teachers and of course all of our g-oz participants were delighted to see 2021 start so positively. After a year in which border shutdowns made the delivery of our community programs a huge challenge, we were thrilled to have teams visit Carnarvon, Halls Creek, Lockhart River and Kowanyama during Term 1. Our experienced g-oz Instructors were over the moon to be back doing what they love most – leading song and dance educational activities and inspiring girls and young women to grow in confidence.
As if that isn’t enough excitement for the term our Program Director, Kylie Lee-Archer, and our recently appointed Programs Assistant, Ginger Kelly Watrous, were in Kowanyama last week piloting our very latest Community Program.
We are thrilled to share the news of our four Community Programs that took place during Term 1.
The first of our Term 1 Community Programs kicked off in March in Carnarvon on International Women’s Day. Our g-oz Instructors Jane, Ellie and Emma were thrilled to celebrate with the g-oz participants and women in community.
Jane, Ellie and Emma enjoyed delivering in-school sessions each day as well as engaging with students in the Carnarvon Community College after-school homework program ‘Follow the Dream’.
In Term 2 we intend to recommence our Mentor Program in Carnarvon where students in upper secondary school support younger g-oz program participants and will prepare a performance for the school’s Reconciliation Week event.
g-oz Instructors Eliza, Lani and Mel all returned to Halls Creek to deliver our 43rd week-long Community Program. That’s a lot of hours of singing and dancing over more than 10 years with children from Kindy to Year 2 and girls only from Year 3 right through to secondary.
A highlight of our time in Halls Creek in Term 1 was reconnecting with g-oz alumni DJ Calwyn. DJ finished year 12 last year and is now completing a traineeship with our community partner, the girls’ engagement program Shooting Stars. Being based in the school meant that DJ was able to participate in g-oz sessions each day and provide the role modelling that all young girls and women need.
Program Director Kylie and g-oz Instructors Ginger and Sam felt incredibly honoured to meet and sing with the ‘Old Girls’ of community in our Term 1 visit to Lockhart. The women sang a beautiful song called ‘Old Lockhart’ for us and we hope to learn it and help them teach it to all the students of Lockhart State School later this year.
If there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s learning and singing songs, so we hope to do that with the community members who deeply understand and are willing to share their culture.
In long awaited news we are so glad to have piloted a new program in the community of Kowanyama in Term 1. Kowanyama State School Deputy Principal Hayley Lawton was a teacher supervisor on our g-oz Travel Program in 2016 when she worked in Lockhart River and has been pursuing g-oz since her move to ‘Kowie’ 4 years ago.
This term Kylie and Ginger visited Kowanyama for the first time and spent a busy week singing and dancing with students from Kindy to Year 10.
All of the children and some of the teenagers engaged with the program beautifully and we are confident that the program will grow and develop over the coming terms and years.