YABUN FESTIVAL 2018
January 26th – a day for remembrance, reflection and a celebration of survival. NASCA joined a crowd of around...
NASCA uses the power of strong role models throughout our work to promote healthy positive lifestyles to our young people. Lauren Vosota is a proud Birra and Wakka Wakka Woman, and one of our Sydney based Program Assistants. She has worked with NASCA for over a year and spends her time with young people across Sydney delivering NASCA programs.
Lauren grew up in Bankstown and when she was young she didn’t have many Aboriginal role-models or mentors that she was close to. For her working with NASCA is about being a support person for young people in her community who might be struggling “I want to show them that you can come out the other end” Her ability to connect with young people on their level, their shared experiences and her knowledge of the local community, means they trust her and come to her when they need support.
As Lauren says the key is consistency. “We are consistent, we’re there every week. We mould these programs to the kids, to their needs and what they will benefit from. Career paths, mental health, sports – they all include skills they need to be successful in life”
I can connect with them on their level, I might know their Aunties or Sisters and this makes a difference
Lauren has a deep love of soccer and has been playing for 15 years but first discovered Rugby League when she was 18. Through her cousin she started playing and met other Aboriginal women who had the same passion and shared a love of sport. Last year she joined the Waterloo Storms Women’s Team.
A bond forms when you play sport, together you are developing and changing, all heading for the same goals. Lauren soon became fast friends with her teammates and they started sharing skills. As her teammates helped her develop her footy skills she was able to help them grow in confidence “there were some women who were a bit scared to go out and get jobs, I was able to help them build confidence and work on their CV’s, women help each other, we find a way” Lauren has deep connections to the women in her team, often their families are connected and this strengthens their commitment as a team.
Lauren played with the Waterloo Storms in this year’s Koori Knockout. Although they had only played together for a year they had been practising hard and building each other up. It was a real family affair with Lauren’s sister and cousins joining the team, her niece even flew in from Queensland to play. They came up against La Perouse and the crowds watched eagerly as they played.
The atmosphere was electric and Lauren was cheered on by Aunties, Uncles, and kids from the NASCA’ programs. The next week in school the kids were eager to talk to her about the experience, some of them are now keen to play and thinking of joining the Redfern All Blacks next year.
This is why role-modelling is such a key part of the work NASCA does. Lauren’s work both on and off the field promotes strong, healthy Aboriginal culture and she is a mentor to our young women. As for the footy, the Waterloo Storms are building strong foundations for 2018 and we can’t wait to see how they get on.
Help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders stay strong in their culture and identity.