(Scroll down to view the Respect Project)
Aboriginal students at Governor Stirling Senior High School are cared for by the Aboriginal Education Team, consisting of Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers (AIEO's), the Follow the Dream / Partnerships For Success (FTD/PFS) Coordinator and the Aboriginal Tuition Assistant Scheme (ATAS) Coordinator and tutors.
The Maali Centre (Aboriginal Education Centre) at the Midland Campus is the double demountable located at the side of the school playing field. The centre at the Bassendean Campus, dubbed the "Mini-Maali", is at the corner of Reid and Kathleen Streets. These centres are used as offices for the Aboriginal Education Team, tuition of Aboriginal students and various meetings related to Aboriginal Education.
The AIEO's at GSSHS work tirelessly to assist the Aboriginal students to make successful progress throughout their years of schooling here. They are focussed on developing good working relationships with students as well as with the parents. They support students in the classroom as needed and offer advice and counselling on an individual basis. The AIEO's assist Student Services in monitoring attendance of the students and work with staff at Regional Office in this process.
Deadly Attendance Awards are held at the end of Terms 1, 3 & 4, celebrating student attendance of 90% and above for each term with certificates and movie passes. At the same event the Dardii Awards are presented to students with a 10% or greater improvement in their attendance since the previous term. We celebrate NAIDOC as a whole school at the end of Term 2.
The Follow the Dream / Partnerships for Success (FTD/PFS) Program assists students to achieve their educational goals, by supporting and encouraging them during school and providing tutoring and mentoring in an after school model at Midland, and a during school model at Bassendean. This enables students to consolidate and accelerate their learning and complete all set tasks and assignments to the very best of their ability. This program is consistently attended by many of our Aboriginal students, and the highlights of the year are the FTD/PFS camp and other excursions, the FTD/PFS parent afternoon teas and awards evening for all families.
Tutoring is critical to the progress of some of our students. The Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ATAS) is an in school tuition program which aims to improve the educational involvement, access, participation and outcomes of Indigenous students. Our friendly and dedicated ATAS tutors work with individuals and small groups as well as providing in-class support, to enhance literacy and numeracy in Governor Stirling's Indigenous young people.
The transition of Year 7 Indigenous students into Year 8 here at Governor Stirling SHS is one area to which the Aboriginal Education Team pays specific attention. The Aboriginal students have a special morning with us in the Centre prior to Transition Day for all Year 7 students. After the Indigenous Transition Day, there is another meeting in the centre, this time for the parents of our new students for the following year. The aim is for the new students to feel safe and culturally accepted in their new educational environment ensuring a positive start to their high school years, and for their parents to feel included in their child's high school experience..
Once again our Indigenous students have been engaged in an exciting innovative project - the RESPECT Project. Made possible by funding from The Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts through the Indigenous Coordination Centre and in association with Yirra Yaakin, the students produced a song and music video.
Local hip hop artist and musician Scott Griffiths, aka OPTAMUS from Downsyde, worked with Yirra Yaakin to lead a group of 20 of our Indigenous students through the process of being in a band which is about to break into the big time.
The project ran over a four week period with workshops that included voice work, dance (with leading Indigenous choreographer Simon Stewart from WAAPA), writing their own song, recording it, creating a video clip with professional film crew Elephant Productions, and a taste of the promotional and business side of the music business too.
Calling themselves “THE DEADLY MOB”, the students developed an inspirational and powerful song titled “LEAD DON”T FOLLOW” that expresses their aspirations in a positive and meaningful way. This has been a truly enriching project for all those fortunate enough to be involved.
Click here to view the video clip. Yirra Yaakin Respect Workshop (28 MB wmv file)
RESPECT 2010 - UPDATE
Due to much demand and interest from local community groups and government organisations since the 2009 DVD launch of the powerful song "Lead Don't Follow" by Govo's very own hip hop crew "Deadly Mob", the second phase of the RESPECT Project was delivered in Term 1 this year. The students took part in a series of rigorous performance preparation workshops in weekly two hour sessions over a four week period, in the lead up to their March 3 performance at the Landcorp Reconciliation Action Plan launch.
With the support of Yirra Yaakin, hip hop artist Scott Griffiths once again came on board to get the students confident and ready to perform live. And the students certainly did not disappoint. In the Sunken Gardens at the University of Western Australia they gave a fast, energetic performance which was a resounding success with a crowd of impressed dignitaries including the Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls. Both Landcorp and the audience responded with much enthusiasm and praise for the high level of professionalism the group displayed and the powerful message their song "Lead Don't Follow" conveyed.
This was an exciting opportunity for the students to actively participate in an important cultural milestone in a meaningful and celebratory manner, and they rose to the occasion magnificently.
Follow the Dream / Partnerships For Success
Indigenous Aspirations Strategy
What is the purpose of the program?
The purpose of the Governor Stirling SHS Site Follow The Dream / Partnerships For Success program is to support the educational aspirations of selected Indigenous students from years 8 – 12.
Who are the targeted students?
This program focuses on those students who have the potential to attain educational success, have previously achieved some success at school, are focussed on completing Upper School and gaining WACE (graduation) &/ or TEE; have family support and attend school regularly.
What are the key elements of the enrichment program
Follow The Dream works in conjunction with school; students continue to attend main stream classes and receive additional assistance essentially in an after-school model for lower school students, and individual tuition in specialist subjects for upper school students,
- Two warm and welcoming Learning Homework Centre which offer assistance to our students. At the Midland Campus it operates four afternoons per week after school. At Bassendean students are encouraged to attend in their study periods and have arranged tutoring hours.
- Lower school students attend the centre between two and four afternoons a week. Afternoon tea is served, followed by the completion of homework or tutoring. The centre is staffed by helpful and caring tutors and is equipped with computer technology.
- Mentoring within the Learning Centre, offering support for academic endeavours and personal development.
- Excursions and camps focussing on vocational and cultural issues.
- Sessions with guest and motivational speakers.
- Activities with family members to promote the value of education.
- Smith Family Scholarships for students meeting the criteria.
What are the operational details?
The program has been operational at the Governor Stirling SHS site since the commencement of 2004. The Follow The Dream / Partnerships For Success coordinator Jan Miller is responsible for the daily operation of the program. She is supported by a school based Operations Committee which assists with the selection of students and provides advice on concerns and issues relating to the week to week running of the program. The two FTD/PFS schools of the Swan / Midland district are directed by the Swan Valley Steering Committee, who provide overall strategic level management and policy direction. The Steering Committee is comprised of the partners who fund and drive the program. They are the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, who represent AMP, Department of Education, DEEWR, Governor Stirling and Swan View Senior High Schools, and members of the Aboriginal community.
The Learning Homework Centre operates after school for a period of two hours on four afternoons from Monday through to Thursday.
The program over the past 8 years has maintained a membership of between 20 and 30 students. It has achieved 100% graduation of all Year 12s in the program, and two students have received the prestigious Department of Education Aboriginal Education Award for the Outstanding Year 12 Indigenous Student in Western Australia.
Further information about the program can be obtained from the GSSHS Follow The Dream / Partnerships For Success Coordinator Jan Miller by email: Jan.Miller@det.wa.edu.au .
UPDATED: December 2011