The National Apology: NASCA 10 Years On

13 February 2018Uncategorized

Today, 13th February 2018, marks 10 years since Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations and their families – an important and significant moment in Australia’s history, not only for Indigenous Australians but for all Australians.

The anniversary comes with the 10 year review of the Closing the Gap Strategy, igniting discussions about what the Australian government has achieved in closing the gap and what it hasn’t.

10 years on since the initial Closing the Gap Strategy commenced, a recent review has found that just three of the seven targets are on track to be achieved.

Although disheartening, we want to take this moment to not only mark 10 years since the apology but celebrate what we as an Aboriginal organisation have achieved with communities and Indigenous students in that time.

Below we take a look at 10 highlights in 10 years!


Ali Curung Community Garden 

In 2016, NASCA started a community garden in the remote Northern Territory community of Ali Curung, which is situated 380km north of Alice Springs. Food security is an on-going and major issue for remote communities and fresh food is often unavailable or unaffordable resulting in significant impacts on the physical health of communities. Aboriginal people aged 5-16 have, at this stage, been the direct beneficiaries of the garden and we loved working with them to create this beautiful project. 


Hundreds of NT Volunteers

Each year NASCA recruits and trains over 50 skilled volunteers to help deliver our educational and health programs in the Northern Territory.

Every volunteer brings their own skills and talents from softball through to science, and cookery to craft. All our volunteers leave with a new perspective and a deeper understanding of life in a remote community. Our volunteers become part of the NASCA family and we are so grateful for their support.


Garma Festival

In August 2017, 12 of our students attended Garma Festival. Garma is considered Australia’s most prominent Aboriginal cultural festival and is run by the the Yothu Yindi Foundation each year on Yolngu Country in North East Arnhem Land.

This was an amazing experience for our young people from NSW to learn about Yolngu culture through dance, music and celebration, and to take pride in their Aboriginal culture and identity.


TAFISA Games, Jakarta 

In October 2016, five NASCA students from the Western Sydney Program represented Australia at an international cultural showcase in Indonesia known as the TAFISA Games. These games aim to highlight not only the value of sport but the value of culture being interwoven in sport. In 2016, the TAFISA Games hosted more than 12,000 participants from 110 countries; 80,000 spectators and 45 million viewers worldwide on TV and online.


Traditional Indigenous Games 

In 2017, the first annual NASCA Traditional Indigenous Games (TIGs) Olympics was held at Western Sydney University. Students from seven different schools came together to learn and play traditional Indigenous games. These games were a way for our students from across our NSW programs, to get to know each other, and celebrate their culture and identity.


Expansion of Northern Territory Program

We have been working in remote Northern Territory for over 15 years, over that time we have built strong relationships with many communities.

2015 saw the expansion of the delivery of our successful program in the Northern Territory to Haasts Bluff, Ali Curung and Laramba and in 2017 we expanded further and began to work with Canteen Creek and Wutungurra (Epenarra). 


Young Indigenous Pathways Program

In 2016, NASCA expanded to deliver the Young Indigenous Pathways Program in Western Sydney with support of Lendlease and the GWS Giants AFL Club. Western Sydney’s vast and significantly young Indigenous population indicates that programs like YIPP are important to ensure that young people don’t fall through the cracks and receive high quality education and access to opportunities.



Koori Kids’ Kitchen Tales Cookbook

In 2013, as part of the Walan Barramal Academy, NASCA facilitated a 13 week cooking program with 15 local Indigenous kids. Through the program the cookbook: Koori Kids’ Kitchen Tales, was developed to showcase the students’ recipes, stories and experiences.

This was a great way for students to connect with their parents and grandparents though food and family recipes.






Chloe Wighton joins the Board

Chloe Wighton, a proud Wiradjuri woman from Gilgandra in NSW, joined the NASCA Board in 2014.
Chloe is a former NASCA participant and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Archaeology in 2015. She has since commenced her Master of Museum and Heritage Studies and in 2014, she was nominated as Young Australian of the Year. We are so proud of everything Chloe has achieved and the experience and knowledge she brings to our Board.


Leanne Townsend joins as CEO

Leanne is an Anaiwan Woman from Uralla, New South Wales. Before joining NASCA in 2013, Leanne was CEO of The New South Wales Reconciliation Council and manager of the National NAIDOC Awards. She also led key aspects of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations and was a Senior Advisor to Governor General Her Excellency Quentin Bryce.

Leanne has led NASCA from strength to strength with her focus on delivering high quality programs that create long lasting impact.

As we think about the next 10 years, we focus on our vision of a proud, prosperous Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people thrive. We know that by working together we can achieve this.

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