An arts engagement program for young girls is aiming to raise $50,000 to fund a full year of performing arts education for students in the largest remote Aboriginal community in WA, Bidyadanga.
Inspired to improve educational and employment opportunities for girls in remote and regional Australia, Girls from Oz has previously worked with four other regional communities including Halls Creek and Carnarvon.
Partnering with the local community and La Grange School, their aim is to fund a full year of performing arts education in Bidyadanga and enable a week-long trip to Melbourne for a select few.
General manager Kylie Lee-Archer said performing arts was a way of having girls continue to attend school in Western Australia.
“Attendance at school is something their community is working really hard on and making sure they are turning up everyday so they can get a consistent education,” she said.
“Local people really want their children to attend school and to have the opportunities open to them that kids in Australia’s capital cities have.
“What we do in Girls from Oz is we use the performing arts because that’s kind of our thing, we love to sing and dance.”
Gearing up to head to Bidyadanga, Ms Lee-Archer said it’s not just about meeting a curriculum but also about teaching the students life skills.
“A lot of it is confidence building, I think working in a team is a really important thing like accountability to your peers and to your teammates,” she said.
“If you’re singing in a choir it’s different from singing on your own, the idea is that when we sing together we get confidence from working in a group but we’re also accountable to each other.
“If you don’t turn up, then the group is less good than it is when you do turn up.
“Accountability, teamwork, confidence, building self-esteem and identity, I think are really important parts of it.”
Girls from Oz will begin the community program in Bidyadanga in August 2022.