On Tuesday 9th of June the MADALAH Team set off on our second field trip in less than a month. This time we passed through Northam and into the Goldfields!
While our Northam visit was brief we met with Michelle Winmar from Bilya Koort Boodja, who not only gave us a good insight into the community but we also explored the opportunity for facilitating a student camp at Bilya Koort Boodja in the near future!
We arrived into Kalgoorlie Tuesday night and rested up for the huge day we had planned for Wednesday the 10th June.
First thing Wednesday morning we saddled up and took off towards Leonora where we met with Shelley from Leonora District High School’s Shooting Stars Program and three amazing young girls who are currently in the process of applying for MADALAH Scholarships. It was fantastic to meet these girls; years 8, 9 and 11, who all have part time jobs whilst studying full time and are role models in their community. Visiting them at their school, visiting their home in Gwalia and listening to their stories and aspirations really highlighted the difference MADALAH could make in their lives by providing them with a scholarship. We are hopeful that they are successful with their applications; their self-determination is admirable.
We drove two and a half hours back to Kalgoorlie for a Youth Interagency BBQ at Kingsbury Park. We got the chance to talk to passionate people, learn about their programs and meet some of the young people involved in those programs. We exchanged our thoughts on how to engage more families from the area and urged them to advocate for our program as the potential for the Kalgoorlie/ Goldfields region is exciting as we learned in Leonora and we would love to try and offer these life changing opportunities and bridge that gap.
Thursday the 11th June we spent some time talking to students from South Kalgoorlie Primary School. Two of the students had been exploring the possibility of boarding school and their eyes lit up when we explained all of the opportunities that this could provide to them. Next we headed to East Kalgoorlie Primary School where we met with the Deputy Principle, we discussed students at her school, the community in general and the possibility for returning with partner schools who are invested in the area.
Our last meeting before we headed home to Perth was with the students at the local PCYC. We had a long chat about the benefits of the program and level of education our partner schools had to offer. They thanked us for our time and gave us some positive feedback and we were so happy to hear that one of them went straight home and told his mum that he would like to go to boarding school at one of our partner schools!
The positive feedback from the people we met and number of potential applicants is a great reflection of the effectiveness of our trip. It was also important that we got a better understanding of the community and issues facing young people in the Goldfields. Overall it was an engaging and insightful trip that we can’t wait to do again!