We began this year with the MADALAH team heading to the Gascoyne, an area we are hoping to increase the number of scholarships that are awarded. First stop was Carnarvon, meeting with community members who are interested in scholarships for 2022, and with families who are beginning their scholarship journey in 2021. It was great to see students in their home towns and to be there for them on their Orientation days, hopefully easing the transition from community to school.
We then met with staff from Goonwardu Mia, the cultural centre and museum that works in the community in various capacities, including school holiday programs for the local students. They were more than happy to inform their contacts about MADALAH and help families with their applications. Next was the Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation. The corporation have a number of great relationships within the town and were able to link us with potential families. Our last stop in Carnarvon was at Ngala. This was our second visit in recent years and was made special due to some of the staff having successfully been through the scholarship process. Who better to spread the word and information about the application process than families who have gone through it!
Next we travelled to Shark Bay where we held an information session and spoke to families. We met with Real Futures who would be informing their clients, and with Ben and Debbie Bellotti from Yadgalah Aboriginal Corporation, who were ecstatic to be able to spread the world through their town as there had been limited opportunities for students in the past.
On the way to Geraldton we stopped at Northampton to hold a community session where we were able to meet a number of interested families. Geraldton was the final stop before we headed home, with the final information session seeing many existing and new students and families connecting. It was great to meet the families and discuss any concerns before they headed off to school. These connections are what help us keep students happy and engaged throughout their schooling.