Monday 29th of June saw some of the MADALAH team have an early start, leaving Perth to fly out to Port Hedland. We landed, got the hire car and headed straight to meet IBN Group which was our first of many meetings throughout the Pilbara and Gascoyne region. We shared information about our scholarship program and discussed potential partnerships and how we could support students from the Pilbara region and in particular the Yinhawangka, Banyjima and Nyiyparli people. Next we met with Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation and had a similar discussion exploring how we could work together to provide a high quality education to the Kariyarra people. We agreed that the opportunities we could offer their kids and other local kids would not only be beneficial, but life changing!
Before heading to Karratha we met with some Hedland families; some were interested in scholarships for 2021 and some were existing student’s families. It was lovely to meet the families of the students we already work with and those we hope to work with in 2021.
Our next adventure was a 2 hour drive to Karratha where we had 18 separate meetings with a mix of schools, corporations, organisations and families.
Monday and Tuesday we visited Karratha Senior High School to speak to Follow the Dream, Girls Academy and Clontarf students and staff about our secondary and tertiary scholarships. It was also a chance for our Students and Families Liaison Officer Casey to have a reunion with her former students. The love and respect they have for Casey shows us how extremely lucky we are to have her on our team. Pegs Creek Primary School and Karratha Primary School were next, where school staff were extremely supportive and excited about the opportunities available to their students.
We also met with Missions Australia and IBN Group’s Karratha team for a quick introduction and run through of our previous meeting with the South Hedland team. We explained the process of applying for a scholarship to IBN’s Community Field Officer Ivanna Sambo so she can inform and support families with applying.
Ngurranga tours was an amazing experience which saw us introduced to country on Murujuga National Park. We listened to the stories and ate the food of Ngarluma people and we are ever so grateful for this experience.
On Tuesday 30th of June we left for Roebourne to meet with Global Roaming who work with young girls on becoming strong indigenous leaders, they were excited to hear of the opportunities we may be able to offer some of their students. This was followed by a quick radio interview with Ngaarda Media where Che let the community know what we have to offer and how to access it. We then headed to CPFS where we met with Tristan Kempton to talk about opportunities for students in the Departments care. Our last meeting in Roebourne was the Old People’s birthday celebrations. The old people in the Roebourne community, all celebrate their birthday on July 1st every year as many don’t know when their birthday is. This is a beautiful occasion where the whole community comes together to help celebrate.
We then got on the road and headed to Onslow via the scenic route through Pedumulla station, once we got to Onslow we rested up for the big day ahead. Thursday morning we met with the Principal at Onslow School where they were excited to know of the opportunities they could offer to those students who were excelling.
Next we headed off to Carnarvon to meet with a group of students engaged in both the Stephen Michael Foundation and Follow the Dream to let them know of the opportunities available. There were so many questions and interested students. We look forward to working more with this community. The following morning we met the beautiful ladies at Ngala, many of these women are nana’s who believe so strongly in the kids of Carnarvon getting a state of the art education, so they were more than happy to support us in circulating our opportunities within the community.
We then headed to Carnarvon Community College Clontarf who were happy to hear of the Tertiary Scholarship Opportunities for their senior students. A quick stop off at St Mary’s was also made to deliver brochures to share with their families.
We headed home via Geraldton where we met with some interested families before hitting the road back to Perth. This trip was the perfect way to wrap up our community visits for the year. The strong people leading their communities and beautiful landscapes created an experience to remember. We can’t wait to head back up to the Pilbara and Gascoyne again!