NSWTOx Indigenous

A blog to share information & resources for Outreachers developing & delivering services & programs for Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Friday, August 17

Success for TAFE South Western Sydney Koori Program

This 2008 program conceived of some years earlier by a local community worker and TAFE Outreach teacher. The pilot was run at Bonnyrigg Public School. The short term aim was to provide an opportunity for local Aboriginal women to build a solid foundation for study and eventually work in the community service sector. The longer term goal was to strengthen community by pathwaying students into higher level qualifications in the community services sector in order they work in their own communities.

The teacher had observed the potential within the local communities and designed a program that would engage, support and motivate learners in a dynamic culturally aware and sensitive environment. The pilot proved very successful and led to more classes funded by the TAFE NSW SWSI Aboriginal Education Unit in collaboration with Wetherill Park TAFE Outreach community centres including W.I.L.M.A. (Wilma) Women's Health Centre and MARCIA Refuge provides crisis accommodation for women and their children who are escaping domestic violence.

The collaborative approach led to creative, locally negotiated, supportive and flexible programs for the student groups. Services included MacArthur legal service, court assistance scheme (Sista Girl Yarns), and Liverpool Women's Resource Centre. The program continued to grow and evolve responding to local communities. Every semester has seen students’ progress into higher level qualifications on campus at TAFE and some on to university. Aside from successful pathways into further and higher education for many Aboriginal women, many with multiple strands of disadvantage and complex needs, there have been many benefits to communities, families and individuals. For example four women from Sista Girl Yarns group are now working in community/ government jobs but doing direct client work as a result of doing the course.


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