Fi­nal­ists aim to make their dreams real

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

The hunt for this year’s Pil­bara Girl is al­most over, with less than a month be­fore one young in­dige­nous woman is crowned the 2015 win­ner in Broome.

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.

Twelve par­tic­i­pants, aged be­tween 16 and 25, reg­is­tered for the 2015 Pil­bara Girl pro­gram from Kar­ratha, Roe­bourne, Wick­ham, Port Hed­land and South Hed­land.

Ava Watkins, Terri Mur­phy, An­gelina Si­bosado, Teeanne Brown were se­lected last Fri­day to travel to Broome for the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley Girl fi­nals.

There, they will take part in an ad­di­tional week of work­shops and the fi­nal show­case.

Ava, 16, said her ex­pe­ri­ence in the Pil­bara Girl pro­gram had given her the con­fi­dence to pur­sue her dream of be­com­ing a model.

“At the start of the week, I was quite shy and now I’ve learnt to be proud of my­self,” she said.

“I am re­ally pre­pared for Broome and af­ter the fi­nals I am hop­ing to com­plete a busi­ness trainee­ship.”

Pro­gram founder Kira Fong said the trans­for­ma­tion of the girls dur­ing the work­shops sur­prised her ev­ery year.

“A lot of these young women want to do some­thing pos­i­tive in their com­mu­ni­ties, but they don’t have the con­fi­dence or belief in them­selves,” she said.

“The Pil­bara Girl pro­gram gives them the tools to make a dif­fer­ence in their own lives and the com­mu­ni­ties they live in.”

Ms Fong said a long-term fund­ing com­mit­ment was needed from the gov­ern­ment to make the Pil­bara Girl pro­gram sus­tain­able.

“Fund­ing has been a strug­gle,” she said.

“Last year we man­aged to de­liver a smaller pro­gram in the Pil­bara thanks to spon­sor­ship from the North West Shelf pro­ject.

“Two weeks ago the Gov­ern­ment also an­nounced $200,000 in­terim fund­ing un­til July, 2016, which means we can pro­vide some post-care for the girls af­ter the pro­gram.

The fi­nal will be at Goolarri Am­phithe­atre in Broome on Oc­to­ber 9.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit­ber­ley­girl.

Pic­ture: Court­ney Fowler

Ava Watkins, Terri Mur­phy, An­gelina Si­bosado and Teeanne Brown are the four fi­nal­ists in the 2015 Pil­bara Girl heats, which were held in Roe­bourne last week.

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