Handy Fellas in Papunya
Do you have that friend who is just great at fixing things? Leave them alone for half an hour...
Two of those volunteers are Maddy; a proud Kamilaroi woman and student nurse from Grafton and Matt; a proud Waanyi man and Senior Student Adviser at CareerTrackers in Brisbane.
When asked why they applied to volunteer with NASCA, both answered without hesitation; they want to give back to the community and be apart of making change.
“One of my greatest passions is to be a part of closing the gap in health statistics”, says Maddy.
This month’s trip will focus on the theme of superheroes, to teach and encourage our students to be heroes themselves and identify their own super powers.
Matt says his superhero is Wolverine and he says the reason for this is because although it may seem a blessing that he’s immortal, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
“I think that I’m just using this metaphor for these kids because I hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that we don’t just see another generation of the same and another generation of what we know happens,” he says.
“Hopefully we’re on the precipice of breaking through and much like Wolverine… find that light at the end of the tunnel.”
Maddy says her superheroes are her Mum and Pop.
“Pop never had the defeatist attitude,” she says.
“He applied for a job and was the only Aboriginal applicant when he was 16 and knocked them out the park.”
“Mum went to University and she’s now doing her Masters in Indigenous Languages; she also runs a program to teach all the kids (traditional) language which instills pride in Aboriginal kids but also pride in the non-Aboriginal kids.”
Both Maddy and Matt mentioned that it’s not only about what they can gain out of the experience but that it will be an experience that is a two-way street of learning.
Matt has previously volunteered in a community called Lilla in the Northern Territory with CareerTrackers and will be visiting two different communities over two weeks; first in Canteen Creek and then in Ali Curung. This trip he hopes to gain a new perspective.
“I think when it comes to what I can gain, it’s a perspective,” he says.
“So being able to go to two different communities this time is a huge opportunity to gain knowledge.”
Maddy, who will be spending a week in Haasts Bluff, is simultaneously the mother of a two year-old girl, works part-time and studies a Bachelor of Nursing, and says she hopes to work in remote communities when she graduates so the experience will better prepare her for her dream job.
“It’s an experience to understand the reality (of the communities), and to know how I can prepare myself for that when I finish Uni in two years time,” she says.
In the lead up to the March trip, the volunteers are asked to fundraise. The goal is to reach $20,000 as a group and you can make a contribution here.
All donations, big or small, make a huge difference!
Help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders stay strong in their culture and identity.