Parents and carers
Grant and Brianne
Graduation, October 2009
PAKT group shot
Graduation, October 2009
Participants at graduation
Graduation, October 2009
As a parent or carer, the young person’s journey will be your journey too – you are an important part of the program and we would like to know that you understand what this program is, and what your son or daughter is likely to experience and that you can support your child’s participation in it.
The program starts with a BBQ to get to know one another before we ask you to leave your child with us for a week-long camp. We maintain an open door policy – nothing about the program will be hidden from you, and you are always welcome to get in touch with our workers to ask for more information, for assistance or for clarification. We are committed to providing a program that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity, history and culture. We employ a mixture of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff to run this program and we welcome the participation of parents and famxily members to help us to deliver the program. During the pilot, mums, dads, aunties, uncles and grandparents all participated in teaching the participants about their history and culture. We hope that you’ll share what you know too.
We maintain low ratios of workers to participants so you can be assured that we are doing our best to supervise and care for your child. A Code of Conduct will be agreed to between the participants and us. It will include consequences for breaking the Code of Conduct and we will ask for your support in implementing those consequences – for instance, we may have to ask your child to return home from a workshop or as a last resort, to leave the program, for serious breaches of the Code of Conduct.
Over the next twelve months, your child will be part of an exciting journey of imagination, personal challenges and learning. The program aims to support the message of the importance of education, and to inspire your child to believe that they can be anything they dream of being.
Your child will have some hard work to do, and will be asked to attend six residential programs in January, April, July, September, October and December 2011. They will require your support.
On 11 December 2011, participants will graduate and we will invite you and your family to celebrate your child’s success with us in Sydney.
Frequently asked questions
Families at La Perouse BBQ
Marlee, Cass (staff), Grant
Rhonda and Desiree
Sharon Simms gives everyone a tour of La Perouse
Thomas Newman, Tranby Aboriginal College, took over at the BBQ
Why is there a law firm involved? Is this just about going to law school?
Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers began this program in 2008/2009. They are a really strong supporter of the program. But this program is not about going to law school necessarily – if that is your dream, we’re here to support it. But equally, we welcome any goal that participants set themselves. It might be to get through this year at school; to learn how to get up to speak in front of a crowd; to learn something new; or to get into university.
If you don’t know what you want to do, participating in this program might help you to find a dream and to make a start to realising it.
What is this program all about?
Put simply, this program is about
- promoting ongoing connections to education and in particular to support a successful transition from high school to university or TAFE. We hope that this program will give participants a joy in learning. Further, participants will be eligible to apply for financial support to help them to meet education related expenses;
- celebrating Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander identity and histories;
- making a space where young people can dream beyond the all-too-frequent messages that they don’t have what it takes to finish school or to ‘be something’. We are about setting imaginations alight and supporting the goals of young people;
- providing young people with a peer group of support – too often, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students find themselves the ‘last one standing’. It can be hard to be the only Indigenous person in class;
- providing a network of older heads to support and to believe in the participants;
- making positive social change – the young people will be encouraged to think about how they can be an agent for positive change, whether on a personal level, or in their school or local communities;
- providing opportunities for taking an idea into action. Young people will see the beginnings, middles and endings of processes over and over again, working alone and in groups.
How long does the program last?
The program runs from January – December 2011. See program dates.
Importantly, the program will kick off with a BBQ where participants, their families and program staff can meet one another on Monday, 24 January 2011.
We will begin the first of six residential workshops (24 – 28 January 2011).
The program participants get together every month thereafter, sometimes informally with their families, carers and teachers, to relax together.
They graduate in Sydney on Sunday, 11 December, 2011 in a ceremony that we hope all family members and carers will attend (1pm – 4pm).
So will I miss school?
All residentials are during school holidays and weekends – you will not need to miss school. But we know that lots of you work, and play sport, and pray and hang out with friends too – so check the program dates. We reckon with this much notice, you can organise yourself.
Where are the residential programs run?
Most of our residential programs will take place at the grounds of the Tranby Aboriginal College in a leafy part of Glebe, close to the central business district of Sydney. Participants will stay in accommodation close to Tranby and will be under the care of youth workers and program staff.
What will we do?
You will learn about history; gain new communications skills using film and audio and other digital media; have the opportunity to work with great artists; do some story telling and discover important things about yourself including talents that you never knew you had.
You will learn how to make change happen and given the support to think about what you would love to do in life, and to begin to make it happen.
In between meeting in person, we will use an exciting computer-based program to stay connected and to stay inspired.
I don’t have a computer or internet access – can I still apply?
Yes! Each participant will be eligible for a hardware to use at home, with internet access.
Further, each participant will be eligible to apply for funding to support education related expenses during the program and beyond.
Is this a one year wonder? What happens at the end of the program?
We want you to stay connected to us and will provide you with opportunities to be a peer support leader to the students in the next crop of participants. You can choose how closely or loosely connected to the program you want to be when your year is over.