Dance crowns it off

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

BURSWOOD cel­e­brated Naidoc Week with stu­dents per­form­ing a tra­di­tional Abo­rig­i­nal dance for staff at Crown Perth.

Stu­dents in­volved in the Kiara Girls Academy pro­gram were in­vited by Crown to per­form a dance on July 5 and chose Gathu Mawula Re­vis­ited, which rep­re­sents women gath­er­ing food.

West Coast Ea­gles player Shar­rod Welling­ham joined the cel­e­bra­tion.

Pro­gram man­ager Lisa Sem­mens said the stu­dents were re­ally ex­cited to be danc­ing and tak­ing part in the Naidoc cel­e­bra­tions.

“I’m proud to see the girls ex­press them­selves, share their indigenous cul­ture, and de­velop into strong young women,” she said.

Kiara Col­lege is one of 34 high schools across Aus­tralia in which the Girls Academy runs a pro­gram which in­creases the skills, em­ploy­a­bil­ity, health and well-be­ing of Abo­rig­i­nal and Torres Strait Is­lan­der girls at school. Kiara Girls Academy stu­dents Sha­nia Windie and Sharika God­frey with Ea­gles player Shar­rod Welling­ham.

In ad­di­tion to health and aca­demic ob­jec­tives, the pro­gram also fo­cuses on im­prov­ing self-es­teem and cul­tural con­nec­tion.

The Girls Academy works in the school sys­tem to drive com­mu­nity-led so­lu­tions to the bar­ri­ers that pre­vent Abo­rig­i­nal and Torres Strait Is­lan­der girls from com­plet­ing their education and re­al­is­ing their po­ten­tial.

The Kiara Col­lege Girls Academy opened at the start of first term this year and has 52 stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing. The Girls Academy was founded by for­mer Perth Wild­cat and Olympian bas­ket­baller Ricky Grace, who serves as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

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