AMCAP is a proud supporter of the Waalitj Foundation
March 22, 2023
AMCAP is a proud supporter of the Waalitj Foundation, an organisation that runs a number of programs and initiatives to support the community. This year, through our Go The Extra Mile Program, our very own Hira Waihape was selected to join the Waalitj Foundation Mentors in delivering and facilitating a specially designed program within the Onslow school and community to positively engage students and their families through education and learning.
Onslow is the traditional lands of the Thalanyji People. Thalanyji is pronounced: “Thal-an-jee” and sometimes “Dhal-an-jee” as Aboriginal language is not written it’s verbal so can have multiple variations. The Onslow Family Support Program provides ‘Waalitj Kids’ with a daily bus pick up and further in-school support for any students that are at risk with school attendance or engagement. Waalitj Foundation Mentors also design specialist and targeted programs to deliver and facilitate within the Onslow school and community to positively engage students and their families through learning. This program is currently supported by Woodside (BHP prior to the merge) and funding through the Federal Government Indigenous Advancement Strategy and National Indigenous Australians Agency.
The Waalitj Foundation also run an engagement Program called ‘Waalitj Kids’, targeting 22 students from Kindergarten to Year 6. Staff provide daily morning pick-ups and after school home drop-off for the younger kindergarten students. Child health check-ups with the local GP and paediatrician occurred in the morning, Waalitj mentors connect, engage, and motivate students to attend school regularly. Key Engagement activities include developing a sense of community and belonging within the school and classroom, providing frequent positive feedback and recognition for effort and progress and building positive relationships with students and families.
Another incentive-based program provided, targets 15 students specifically to attend school on a Wednesday to reduce absenteeism. Included is a yarning circle session delivered twice a week to check-in with students’ mental health and wellbeing promoting self-awareness to help students identify and understand their own feelings and behaviours. Students also participate in sport, delivered in the last period of the day at the Multipurpose Centre.
Key Engagement outcomes include:
- Identifying any underlying issues. The check-in allows us to identify any underlying issues that may be impacting a student’s engagement and motivation in school, such as mental health concerns or personal problems.
- Building trust and rapport between Waalitj mentors and students which can make it more likely for the student to open up and share their concerns.
- Providing students with access to support and resources to help them address any issues they may be facing.
- Improve communication between the student and the school, which can lead to a better understanding of the student’s needs and how to best support them.
- Improving overall school engagement and academic performance: By addressing the underlying issues that are impacting a student’s engagement and motivation in school, a wellbeing check-in can ultimately lead to an improvement in overall school engagement and academic performance.
AMCAP is proud to support the Waalitj Foundation in their aim to lead the provision of education, employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians by working together to empower and build capacity amongst individuals, their families and their communities.