State al­lo­cates $200k for pro­gram

Pilbara News - - Front Page - ■ Court­ney Fowler

A $200,000 grant from the State Gov­ern­ment has en­sured the con­tin­u­a­tion of an im­por­tant lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­gram for young Abo­rig­i­nal women in the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley.

The Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley Girl pro­gram, run by Goolarri Media, in­cludes a se­ries of work­shops to in­sti­gate pos­i­tive change in the per­sonal and pro­fes­sional ca­pac­ity of young in­dige­nous women aged be­tween 16 and 25.

The pro­gram kicks off in Kar­ratha and Roe­bourne this week and will cul­mi­nate in an an­nual event in Broome this Oc­to­ber.

Premier Colin Bar­nett said the in­terim fund­ing had been made to sup­port the pro­gram while or­gan­is­ers looked to se­cure more per­ma­nent fund­ing ar­range­ments.

“This pro­gram does great work with young Abo­rig­i­nal women help­ing them to de­velop self-con­fi­dence and ful­fil their po­ten­tial,” he said.

“It is im­por­tant for young women, in par­tic­u­lar, to get op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand their hori­zons and to de­velop the skills to em­power them to make their way in the world.

“Women are of­ten the back­bone of many Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties and skills in lead­er­ship as well as de­port­ment, public speak­ing, goal set­ting and team build­ing are very im­por­tant.”

The in­dige­nous lead­er­ship pro­gram looked in jeop­ardy last year af­ter the Re­mote Ser­vice De­liv­ery Na­tional Part­ner­ship fund­ing ceased on June 30.

How­ever, a down­sized event was able to go ahead af­ter a pri­vate spon­sor­ship agree­ment was made with Wood­side.

Mr Bar­nett said longer term fund­ing ar­range­ments may be de­vel­oped in ac­cor­dance with the State Gov­ern­ment’s re­cently an­nounced Abo­rig­i­nal Youth Ser­vices In­vest­ment Pri­or­i­ties and Prin­ci­ples.

Since its in­cep­tion, more than 300 girls have walked through the doors and used the pro­gram as a launch­ing pad to em­power them­selves and change their lives.

Pil­bara Girl co-or­di­na­tor Ta­mara Bi­na­mat said the pro­gram made a dif­fer­ence not only to those who took part, but also the wider com­mu­nity.

“The flow-on ef­fects from the Pil­bara Girl pro­gram to the lo­cal com­mu­nity are huge — the ben­e­fits flow into their fam­i­lies, schools and em­ploy­ers,” she said.

“It also en­ables the wider com­mu­nity to see young in­dige­nous girls in a pos­i­tive light and pro­motes an un­der­stand­ing and re­spect for in­dige­nous cul­ture through­out the re­gion.”

The first 2015 Pil­bara Girl heat will take place at Roe­bourne Com­mu­nity Hall on Septem­ber 11 from 7pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Pil­bara Girl, visit the Goolarri Media web­site on­bara­girl/ or visit the Pil­bara Girl Face­book page.

Pic­ture: Ni­cola Kal­mar

Last year’s Pil­bara Girl win­ner Chanti McHenry.

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