Girls gain strength via spe­cial pro­gram

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

■ Roe­bourne Girls Academy stu­dents gath­ered with el­ders and teach­ers at the Strong Women’s Din­ner at Cos­sack last Wed­nes­day for a cel­e­bra­tion of the achieve­ments of young women in the com­mu­nity.

The din­ner was the cul­mi­na­tion of the two-day Roe­bourne Girls Academy Strong Women pro­gram, which aims to build self-es­teem and cul­tural aware­ness among Abo­rig­i­nal girls.

The group spent two full days with sev­eral lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal women and guest speaker Ka­geni Njeru, who talked about ad­ver­sity which they had per­son­ally over­come.

Academy pro­gram man­ager Elisa Ge­orge said the pro­gram was all about giv­ing the girls a space where they felt com­fort­able to be suc­cess­ful.

“There can be a lot of shame amongst their peers around the girls be­ing suc­cess­ful and hav­ing dreams,” she said.

“We were talk­ing to the girls about sup­port­ing each other and grow­ing into strong women; it’s all about in­creas­ing their self-es­teem and en­forc­ing that idea that it’s OK to be a con­fi­dent woman.

“The girls who have come to school and had a high level of at­ten­dance have got to at­tend this spe­cial din­ner.”

Year 7 Roe­bourne stu­dent Katie Healey said her two years with the academy had helped her re­alise her dream of be­com­ing a marine bi­ol­o­gist.

“It was nice for the girls to come to­gether tonight and feel spe­cial,” she said.

“I have been in­volved with the academy since it started two years ago; it’s made me be­come very con­fi­dent.

“We’ve learnt that to go to school and fin­ish school at Year 12, you can get along life very easy.”

Roe­bourne el­der Toot­sie Daniel said the idea be­hind the pro­gram had res­onated deeply with fe­male el­ders in the town.

“I’m happy that the academy is in Roe­bourne … it’s like doors are open­ing for these young ones and they’re go­ing to be strong lead­ers when they grow up too.

“It’s a warm feel­ing see­ing the girls so happy.”

Wood­side re­gional com­mu­ni­ties man­ager Rob McPhee said the Strong Women Pro­gram pro­vided the girls with im­por­tant lessons they could draw upon when faced with chal­lenges in their lives.

The Roe­bourne Girls Academy Strong Women pro­gram is run with Role Mod­els Aus­tralia and Roe­bourne Dis­trict High School and is proudly sup­ported by the Wood­side-op­er­ated North West Shelf Pro­ject through the Kar­ratha Ed­u­ca­tion Ini­tia­tive.

Roe­bourne Girls Academy stu­dents at the Strong Women’s Din­ner at Cos­sack last week.

Pic­tures: Court­ney Fowler

The din­ner at­tracted el­ders, stu­dents and teach­ers from the Roe­bourne com­mu­nity.

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