NASCA Students Return from TAFSIA Games (Jakarta)
In early October, an Australian delegation led by Aboriginal young people from Western Sydney returned from an international cultural...
This prestigious 4-day event held on Yolngu country in the far north of the Northern Territory is renowned for its colourful celebration of Yolngu culture and heritage through dance, music and art. NASCA student’s participation in this trip is being generously supported by our Partners Lendlease and the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
The Festival hosts major forums and discussions on policy and trends related to issues across all of Indigenous Australia including a Youth Forum that NASCA students will be involved in.
‘Learning on Country’ will form a major part of the students experience. Yolngu educators provide them with knowledge of the bush pharmacy through guided tours into the deep escarpment of the Dhupuma plateau.
They will also meet and interact with other young Indigenous kids from across the nation. Tayla, whose hard work all year has meant she will be one of the 12 students heading North said “I’m really looking forward to being involved in cultural celebrations with other passionate Aboriginal people.”
NASCA CEO Leanne Townsend said that “This Garma experience will give our urban based students the opportunity to witness Yolngu culture as a living, breathing entity that is central to modern identity and necessary in everyday life. They will also witness some of the brightest and most experienced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from across the nation talk about what is going on across the country. They’ll speak from a grass-roots level, to organisational level and right up to government. This will broaden the kids’ views on how policies and behind-the-scenes work may impact them in their own lives”. Leanne adds “We are very confident that these four days will change each and every one of their lives significantly and make them prouder of their shared identities as young Aboriginal people.”
NASCA students selected showed a mixture of high school attendance, strong engagement in NASCA’s in-school programs and leadership qualities. Many students across our programs show these qualities and it was always going to be hard to limit opportunities to twelve individuals. NASCA knows that much of the experience the selected students bring back to Sydney will be able to be passed on to the students that couldn’t make it this year. NASCA participant Jeremy has said the idea of going is exciting but also something he will learn a lot from “I can’t wait to go to the NT for the first time. I’m excited to learn more about my culture and meet other Aboriginal kids from all over Australia.”
To get the chance to go, NASCA students needed to prepare a speech focussing on why their culture was important to them. The project was designed to see which students were willing to get out of their comfort zone and put extra effort into an activity that was challenging. Challenging kids to step out of their comfort zone by doing a variety of activities forms a large part of NASCA’s programs.
NASCA has also had the great opportunity to meet with the parents and families of the students attending and they all showed great delight in the opportunity about to await these young leaders. Parents told us that they thought it was a great opportunity for the kids and that they wished they’d had similar opportunities when they were at school.
We’d love you to come and meet the NASCA crew and some of the kids as we raise money to help fund the trip. We will be at Bunnings on Wolseley Street, Penrith, Sunday morning the 30th of July where we will be having a sausage sizzle from 8AM.
All photo credits: Yorthu Yindi Foundation
Help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders stay strong in their culture and identity.