Telling Nyoongar success stories
NYOONGAR Wellbeing and Sport programs manager Mark Griffin says he hopes to deliver the success stories of Nyoongar people at his first appearance at the Indigenous Business, Enterprise and Corporations Conference (IBECC) this week.
Mr Griffin has been working in the Noongar community for the past 17 years.
The 37-year-old, who is among more than 100 speakers at the UWA event, said his presentation would be based on Nyoongar Wellbeing and Sport’s schoolbased Youth Achievers Club (YAC) program.
“We utilise our staff, who are inspirational Aboriginal role models, we use traditional indigenous games and sports and we also do leadership and personal development activities,” he said.
“Some of the outcomes are education-specific, such as improving attendance, engagement and academic performance, and others are around health and wellbeing, cultural pride, physical health and fitness and emotional relation is a big one.”
Mr Griffin said the program was launched in July and ran in six schools.
“We work really hard in our jobs and we are seeing the young people in our program develop physically, mentally, emotionally and they are going to be the leaders tomorrow,” he said.
“We have got kids in our program who before we started were in the principal’s office every other day, they were struggling to socialise.
“As an Aboriginal person, I have felt a bit of a positive change in the community around Aboriginal issues recently.”
He said IBECC was an opportunity for organisations and businesses to discuss Aboriginal issues.
“I’d love for all the organisations and businesses to continue on this journey, we are making progress and this is the way forward,” he said.
Other speakers include Noongar entrepreneur Gordon Cole, of Perth, and Reconciliation WA cochair Alan Carter, of Crawley.
Nyoongar Wellbeing and Sport program manager Mark Griffin with a Meetcha Boma (traditional Nyoongar game) stick and ball.