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									                                                     Good news stories from the Sporting Chance Program

                                                  A sporting chance for Indigenous education
The Sporting Chance Program
The Sporting Chance Program uses
sport and recreation to engage
Indigenous students in their schooling
                                                       Hello again
                                                       This is the second edition of eYarn, an e-newsletter for the Sporting
to improve their education, training and
                                                       Chance Program. In this issue we share some good news stories about the
employment outcomes. In 2009, the                      program’s positive impact on people’s lives.
Sporting Chance Program supported
some 8000 primary and secondary                        The stories in this issue highlight success in student academic and sporting
students across WA, NT, NSW, Qld                       achievement, leadership and self-confidence development, Year 12
                                                       achievers and also perspectives from staff employed in the program.
and SA in either school-based sports
academies or education-engagement                      The Sporting Chance Program team in the Department of Education,
programs. For more information on                      Employment and Workplace Relations looks forward to receiving and
the Sporting Chance Program, visit                     circulating even more good news stories in 2010 as we finalise agreements
www.deewr.gov.au/sportingchance.                       for some girls-only, school-based sport academies and new boys academies
If you have any stories that you want to               in Victoria and the Northen Territory.
share in the next edition, please email                Peter Miller
us at sportingchance@deewr.gov.au.                     Manager
                                                       Sporting Chance Program

                                                                         High School,

                                                      Alice Springs

             Clontarf                Kalgoorlie

                              Up4it                          College,
                              Education                      Adeaide
                                                                                               Click on a dot on the
                                                                                               map and jump to a story

                                           Mariah’s a leader on the court
                                         Mariah Hansen is a Year 11           Mariah has also gone on reward trips with
                                         student at Clontarf Aboriginal       the academy, because of her great effort in
                                        College in Perth and she also         her sports and in the classroom.
                                       attends the Clontarf Girls
                                                                              ‘Last year I went on a camp with the
                                     Academy, managed by Role
                                                                              girls academy to Margaret River. It was
                                   Models WA, where she plays netball
                                                                              three nights and three days for a Year 10
                                 and basketball.
                                                                              excursion,’ she says.
Mariah Hansen                    She is one of in the best players in the
                                                                              At the moment, maths is her favourite
Waterford WA,                    netball and basketball programs.
                                                                              subject and Mariah is starting to think
Clontarf Girls Academy           She has been at the academy for two          about what she might do when she
Perth                            years and playing basketball for only        finishes school.
                                 one year, but has already proved to be a
                                                                              ‘I was looking at becoming a police officer
                                 valuable player and a leader on the court
   ‘I had played basketball      in both sports.
                                                                              but I’m not sure at the moment,’
                                                                              Mariah says.
  before, from when I was
                                 Staff at the academy believe Mariah is a
  12 years old, but I hadn’t     natural leader and they try to give her as
 played netball until I joined   much responsibility as they can.
         the academy.’

                                 Taneisha is shooting for success
                                  Year 11 student at Eastern Goldfields       Her favourite subjects are physical
                                  College Taneisha Hansen is achieving        education and maths and she is thinking
                                   success both in basketball and             about doing something related to
                                   at school.                                 accounting or sport when she
                                                                              finishes school.
                                   The young West Australian has been
                                   a participant in the Kalgoorlie Girls      Eastern Goldfields College Aboriginal and
                                   Academy for three years, where             Islander Education Officer Tammy O’Brien
                                  she plays basketball. This program is       has known Taneisha since 2006 and
                                 managed by Role Models WA.                   believes she will go far.
                                 ‘I’ve been playing basketball since I was    ‘I know Taneisha has got her priorities
                                 eight years old,’ Taneisha says.             in the right place. She is a real striving,
                                                                              thriving girl. And I know her mum and
Taneisha                         Her skills on the court and her excellent
                                                                              dad are really proud of her for her
Hansen                           school work and behaviour have not gone
                                                                              achievements,’ Tammy says.
                                 unnoticed. Taneisha received a Subject
Waterford WA,
                                 Certificate of Achievement Award for         ‘I’m also proud of her because when I see
Kalgoorlie Girls Academy
                                 getting As in her accounting studies         young Aboriginal girls do well like this, it
                                 this year.                                   makes me proud.
                                 She was also recognised for her efforts,     ‘People like Shamus Ballanpyne and Ricky
                                 both in the classroom and on the             Grace at the academy really encourage
 ‘Last year we got to do a
                                 basketball court, by being chosen for the    and support these girls.’
  20-day trip to the USA.        USA basketball reward trip in 2008.
   We went to different
                                 ‘At the academy we get to play against
places and played against        other schools and go on camps and that
 other teams. We won all         sort of stuff. Sometimes they’re for fun
except one game, against         and sometimes they’re for basketball.’
an African American team.’

                                                            Rostrevor boys band together
                                                             ‘So we decided to form          planning on working in community health
                                                             a band together. I play         programs. Like the other band members,
                                                             drums, piano and sing.          he enjoys sports-based activities at
                                                             Alfrenan plays piano, drums     school.
                                                             and bass. Timothy plays
                                                                                             ‘We got better, because we’ve had more
                                                            bass, drums, and is backup
                                                                                             time to practise,’ he says.
                                                          singer. Hezekiah plays guitar
                                                        and sings. And Jerry plays           ‘We’re the state champions for footy and
                                                     drums, bass and is the lead singer      we’re good at soccer as well.’
                                                   with me.’
                                                                                             Hezekiah says physical education is
Rostrevor College                             Gerry says the band has helped the boys        his favourite activity at school, and as
Adelaide SA                                   in other ways.                                 a result, he likes school more than he
                                                                                             used to. Timmy Mosquito is similarly
                                              ‘It’s been a great benefit to their literacy
                                                                                             enthusiastic about sport at school. He
                                              and hugely beneficial for their self
                                                                                             is planning a career as a mechanic, and
 In South Australia, Rostrevor College is     development and self confidence. They
                                                                                             understands how important school is.
 seeing real results through the Sporting     get up with the band and introduce their
 Chance Program.                              songs and speak publicly.’                     ‘School will help me get a job,’ he says,
                                                                                             ‘And I like school more than I used to. I
 An all-boys college with some 1100           So far, the Sunset Boys Band has
                                                                                             just want to thank my family for making
 students, Rostrevor has 36 Indigenous        performed at a function for Sporting
                                                                                             me come to this school.’
 students participating in the program.       Chance, at Reconciliation events, at a 50th
                                              birthday party for a parent at the school,     Gerry is very proud of the Sunset
 The school’s Sporting Chance coordinator,
                                              and at a graduation dinner for Year 12         Boys Band.
 Gerry McCarthy, says the school is seeing
                                              students in Adelaide.
 great results. He’s such a strong believer                                                  ‘They’re good role models for younger
 in the value of the program, that he left    Alfrenan Billy says the best thing about       kids around the school,’ he says.
 his post as a primary school principal to    being in the band is hanging out with the
 manage the Sporting Chance Program.          other boys.
 ‘It wasn’t planned that way,’ Gerry says.    ‘We play anything really—rock, classical,
                                              country, jazz. We play soft, we play
 ‘It just evolved and I couldn’t see myself
                                              hard, we play anything. And we sing in
 doing anything else now.’
                                              our language.’
 But it’s about more than just sport. The
                                              Through Sporting Chance, Alfrenan is
 Sunset Boys Band is made up of five Year
                                              enjoying school more, and getting better
 12 students who all take part in Sporting
                                              marks. He enjoys playing football, cricket
 Chance. Arnold Tipiloura, one of the band
                                              and soccer. Along with Arnold, Alfrenan is
 members, says they started out last year.
                                              considering joining the police force when
 ‘We used to go to the music room and         he leaves school.
 muck around,’ Arnold says.
                                              Jerry Wilson has also come along in leaps
                                              and bounds, thanks to Sporting Chance.
                                              The keen footballer didn’t have much
                                              schooling before he came to Rostrevor
                                              and has made real progress with his
                                              literacy. He’s also achieved a lot in sport.         ‘We’ve just had the
                                              ‘I’ve started playing for North Adelaide             graduation, and the
                                              too and I want to play for Collingwood,’             comments that flow
                                               Jerry says.                                        back show the impact
                                               His next step after school combines his          of these guys has been
                                               love of the game with a career.                  overwhelming. Retention
                                              ‘The AFL has the SportsReady                     rates for Sporting Chance
                                              traineeships program, so I want to
                                                                                                 are quite high, not just
                                              do that.’
                                                                                              among Year 12s, but across
                                              The Sporting Chance Program places
                                                                                                the whole program. The
                                              an emphasis on career pathways and
                                              Rostrevor College staff help students plan        college is tremendously
                                              for their future. Hezekiah Lawrence is                proud of them all.’

                                              Up 4 it Education Engagement Strategies
                                              Annette Hanson loves her job and it              ‘One student was organised to go, but did
                                              shows. As an Aboriginal and Islander             the wrong thing, so she was pulled from
                                              Education Officer at Esperance Senior            camp. From that she’s come right around
                                              High School, she coordinates the up4it           and done the right thing by her school.
                                              Education Engagement Strategies                  As a result, she’s been on the last couple
                                              leadership development program                   of camps.’
  Annette                                     managed by Role Models WA.                       Role models, including Wildcats
                                               ‘Our school was first introduced to             basketball players and music acts, also
  Esperance WA
                                              the program about five years ago,’               visit the school as part of the program.
                                              Annette explains.                                ‘The role models explain they might
                                              ‘It’s a program to get the Aboriginal            only have 10 years of basketball as a
   ‘The acting deputy principal               students to come to school on a more             career and at the end of the day, you
  back then rang me and said,                 regular basis, and if they attend for 80         need an education to back you up. And
                                                                                               the students took that on board,’
 “I need someone to come and                  per cent of the time, they’re rewarded
                                                                                               Annette says.
   work at the high school and                with camps.’
                                                                                               Annette found her job by accident. She
help Aboriginal students.” He’d               The camps take place in Perth, and
                                                                                               finished Year 10 and then joined the
  been my teacher, and I said,                Annette says many students are excited
                                                                                               workforce. Later, as a parent, she started
                                              to get on a plane for the first time.
 “you saw my grades!” But, he                                                                  representing Indigenous parents at
                                              The camps include a range of activities,
was willing to give me a go and               like visits to Adventure World, the zoo,
                                                                                               school meetings.
  I’ve been here for 10 years.’               and ten-pin bowling. Annette says it’s a         ‘I love it. It’s something I’ve always
                                              strong incentive.                                wanted to do.’

Palmerston boys strong and proud
At Palmerston High School, on the            ‘Through the Sporting Chance funding
outskirts of Darwin, the Clontarf Football   we have major trips at the end of the
Academy managed by the Clontarf              year and smaller ones during the year.
Foundation is so popular nearly all the      This doesn’t cost the students anything,’
school’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait        Michael explains.
Islander boys are involved.
                                             ‘A lot of these kids haven’t been out of
The academy started in 2008 and school       the area, so it’s a big thrill to go to places
principal Jenny Nash says the enthusiasm     like the Tiwi Islands.’
on the sporting field is flowing on to       Michael says it’s great seeing the boys
the classroom.                               gain confidence and achieve their best
‘The academy gives students a positive       and they are involved from Year 7
pathway. Since it started, school day        through to Year 12.                                        Palmertson High School
attendance has improved from around 70       ‘I reckon I’ve got the best job in Australia;                                      Darwin NT
per cent to 90 per cent,’ Jenny says.        seeing these lads each day and working
Michael McLean, Associate Director           with some great people.
of the academy, is well known for his                                                            ‘We have a responsibility to
                                             ‘We teach them team work and
involvement in the local Youth Centre and    leadership and first and foremost, about             make a difference in these
as coach of the NT Thunder AFL team.         respecting each other.’                           boys’ lives and walk alongside
Three other local football heroes work                                                        them. Their teachers and tutors
                                             Michael hopes three boys will complete
with him to mentor students.
                                             Year 12 this year and with so many                 help with their education and
‘We found at Palmerston, a lot of kids       students involved in the academy, this               we help with the life stuff.’
preferred other sports to Australian Rules   will only increase.                                                       Michael McLean
Football, so a cross section of sports is
                                             The program is so successful Jenny says
offered, and we’ve introduced rugby
                                             they want to get a Sporting Chance
league this term,’ Michael says.
                                             Program going for Aboriginal and
Good behaviour and school attendance         Torres Strait Islander girls at Palmerston
are rewarded with excursions and camps.      High School.

                                  Leading by example
                                  Jasmine Yarran was not sure whether she         She then did a bridging course at Curtin
                                  should go on to Year 12 because her high        University, enabling her to do a journalism
                                  school in Quairading, in the wheat belt of      degree, which she is doing part-time and
                                  Western Australia, went up to only Year 10.     should finish next year.
                                  Then she heard about the Clontarf Girls         She also worked at the Clontarf Girls
                                  Academy basketball program, offered             Academy as a tutor for a year and a half.
 Jasmine Yarran                   through the Sporting Chance Program, and
 Waterford WA,                                                                    ‘It was really good because coming out of
                                  decided to give it a go.
 Clontarf Girls Academy                                                           Clontarf I knew the pathway. So going back
                                  ‘My older cousins went there and they said,     there and to see other kids and share my
                                  “you should come along.” It was really          experience and help them through their
                                  good to get out there and meet other            studies was great,’ Jasmine says.
     ‘I want to work on radio.    Aboriginal kids, and you make heaps of
                                                                                  ‘Being an Aboriginal person you have that
 Before I went into the course    friends,’ Jasmine says.
                                                                                  connection too, you know how they feel.
    I wanted to write articles    It meant moving to Perth where she stayed       Sometimes they know the answer but
  for magazines. But as I went    with her auntie, with city life proving a       they are too shy, so I encouraged them to
                                  bit daunting.
    through, I did radio and I                                                    speak up.’
 thought that’s the path I want   ‘It was hard to leave my town. I was a little
                                                                                  Now Jasmine is focused on her studies and
                                  country kid and I didn’t know much about
 to take. Plus I’d already done                                                   what she wants to do when she finishes.
                                  the city.’
work experience in Year 10 at a                                                   ‘When I finish my journalism studies I’ll see
                                  But Jasmine settled in with the help of her
    community radio station.’                                                     how that goes and then I might complete a
                                  friends at Clontarf Girls Academy and the
                                                                                  Certificate II in Sport and Recreation that I
                                  support of her family and she finished dux
                                                                                  started,’ Jasmine says.
                                  of her class when she graduated Year 12
                                  in 2006.

                                  Yasmin’s son does her proud
                                  Yasmin Watts is proud of her 16-year-old        ‘So come the end of term one, Reggie’s
                                  son, Reggie Smith-Watts, and everything         report arrived. I took a deep breath and
                                  he has achieved.                                opened it. I looked at the name at the top
                                                                                  then on the front of the envelope again.
                                  She was beginning to worry when in 2007
                                  he was in Year 10 at Centralian Senior          ‘Yes, it says, “to the parent of Reggie
                                  Secondary College and failing most of his       Smith-Watts.” Did they make some
                                  subjects.                                       mistake? This kid has As and Bs for all their
                                                                                  subjects—excellent attendance, excellent
                                  She spoke to him about leaving school to
                                                                                  behaviour and attitude—and yes, it was my
                                  get a job and then Reggie told her about
                                                                                  son’s report,’ she says.
                                  the Clontarf Football Academy managed by
                                  the Clontarf Foundation.                        ‘So I put that report on the fridge, and that
                                                                                  was the proudest day of my life.’
 Reggie Smith-Watts               ‘One day, Reggie came home from school
                                  and said, “Mum, I want to go back to school     Reggie is now finishing Year 12 and is a great
 Alice Springs, NT
                                  next year and do Year 11,’ Yasmin says.         leader for younger students. In basketball
 Clontarf Football Academy
                                                                                  he coaches an under-10 team and is also
 Alice Springs                    She resisted the idea at first and wanted to
                                                                                  an umpire.
                                  know more about the academy.
                                                                                  She says she is glad her son continued
                                  ‘Reggie said, “it’s a football program
 ‘Reggie was always worried       where I have to do all my work and go to
                                                                                  school and couldn’t be prouder of him.
  about making sure he was        school every day and they go on trips and       ‘I’m hoping there are big things out
  going to school to keep up      everything. But if I’m not good I can’t stay    there for Reggie as he’s worked hard and
                                  in the academy.”’                               deserves it. And I’d like to say a big thank
 his attendance, punctuality,
                                                                                  you to all the Clontarf Academy staff
  behaviour and being a role      Jasmin knew if Reggie had sports training
                                                                                  and students.’
                                  he never missed a session, so she told him
model. All because he wanted      he could stay if he showed her he really
   to maintain his spot in the    wanted to be at school.
 Clontarf Football Academy.’


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