Girl power on rise
ACADEMY BOOSTS 42 ABORIGINAL STUDENTS
A PROGRAM aimed at empowering Aboriginal girls is already having an effect at Girrawheen Senior High School.
The Girrawheen Girls Academy was established at the school this year and offers a dedicated space for the 42 students to meet before, during and after classes for support and assistance.
Program manager Samantha Eaton said it sought to increase school attendance, improve graduation rates, help with postschool transition, provide academic support and encourage participation in extra-curricular activities.
“It’s all about empowering our girls to continually improve their attendance at school,” she said.
“A highlight has been having an environment where the girls can feel safe and confident and able to be themselves.”
Year 11 student Kristi Morris said being part of the academy helped guide her towards her goal of getting her Tafe qualification to become a personal trainer.
“It’s been really good; I feel it’s helped me with my academics,” she said.
“I wasn’t really close with the other girls before but we’re basically a family now.
“I feel like I can tell Sam anything.”
Kristi will be the first high school graduate from her family and believes it will help inspire her younger sister to follow her.
“It feels really good and after me there could be other people,” she said.
Taleah Boynes is in Year 10 and will study ATAR next year.
“The academy has really opened my eyes to more opportunities available,” she said.
“Last year I was confused where my career would go but the academy really helped me create goals and actually have somewhere to go.
“I didn’t even think I would graduate.
“I didn’t really have any goals.”
Now Taleah wants to attend university and her goal is to become a lawyer.
She said they benefited from an after-school homework club, as well as support for any personal issues experienced.
The academy students also volunteer with local charity groups.
Girls Academy students with development officer Teagan Climo and project manager Samantha Eaton.