State allocates $200k for program
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 on www.goolarri.com/pilbaragirl/ or visit the Pilbara Girl Facebook page.
Last year’s Pilbara Girl winner Chanti McHenry.