The Rising Aboriginal Yorgas (RAY) program aims to engage and empower young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female students in their learning.
To build their capacity to become future leaders, make informed decisions about their personal health and wellbeing and to lead a positive and healthy lifestyle.
It is available to all aboriginal girls in years 8-12 who attend North Albany senior High school.
The Key objectives/outcomes of the Ray program are:
· Health and Wellbeing
· Pride in Aboriginal and TSI Identity
· Positive respectful relationships
RAY develops specific activities based around the key elements of the program to increase engagement and attendance at school, such as camps and excursions, cultural and personal development days, mentoring programs, Aboriginal specific celebrations and/or cultural significant days and an end of year dinner to farewell and celebrate accomplished year 12s.
All RAY students are integrated into mainstream school classes but have the opportunity to participate in specifically designed workshops and programs to build their capacity, enhance self-esteem and develop career pathways to employment.
RAY focuses on teamwork and leadership to encourage the students to become positive role models and active members and leaders in their communities, to create a better brighter future for themselves, their families and for future generations of young Aboriginal girls, especially within the Great Southern Region.
Students in the RAY program have access to the RAY room which is centrally located in the school and is fully equipped with a fridge, kettle, toaster, computer, tables and couches, all of which are utilised to give the RAY students a sense of place and belonging in the school where they can come and have the opportunity to complete their work/homework in a supported environment.
All students are encouraged to come into the RAY Room which has increasingly become an area where the students are choosing to spend their break times. RAY students can bring friends who are not members of RAY into the room which results, at times, in the area becoming a hub of activity.
The RAY program is led by the RAY coordinator - Ms Julie Duthie, who works closely with the school’s AIEO’s - MS Rachel Brown and Ms Jo Woods, to provide support and assistance to the students.
The RAY Coordinator also works with Administration staff, the VET Coordinator at NASHS and partners with North Albany Football Academy, the South regional TAFE and Follow the Dream program to ensure students have the opportunity to explore a variety of potential career pathways and options.
Since its commencement RAY has developed strong working relationships with various organisations within Albany, such as Great Southern Aboriginal Health, Southern Aboriginal Corporation, South Coast Natural Resources Management and South Regional TAFE. These partnerships ensure that the RAY students continue to have access to any specialist programs that occur throughout the year.
Improved attendance and commended behaviour is another purpose of the RAY program and all students sign a collective contract agreeing that they will do their best to represent the program, the school and their culture. Girls can collect points for good attendance, academic success, behaviour and effort, involvement in school and cultural events and activities, and volunteering for various tasks to help others or showcase the program.
Points can be used for rewards such as RAY embossed shirts and jackets which give a sense of belonging in the program. Behaviour and good attendance is also rewarded with once a term lunches, specially designed activities and an end of the year camp.
For further information please contact
Ms Julie Duthie - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Rachel Brown - email@example.com
Ms Jo Woods - firstname.lastname@example.org