The girls academy program works within the school system to drive community-led solutions aimed at reducing the barriers that prevent Indigenous girls from completing their education and reaching their full potential. The Girls Academy equips Indigenous girls with the tools required to engage in their education, achieve their goals and change their communities. The Esperance Girls Academy was established in term 2, 2017 and we have signed up 36 girls as members. All Indigenous girls are welcome from years 7 to 12. We welcome any parent inquires or feel free to come in and have a visit with us.
We are delighted to have Anna Bonney as the full-time Program Manager and Annette Hanson and Michelle de Lacy who share the position of Development Officer to support delivery of the program. Mrs Hanson will also continue to support students in classes through her position as Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer (AIEO), as will Michelle in her other role as Education Assistant in the literacy and numeracy support classes.
One of the first activities the Academy has undertaken has been to commemorate National Sorry Day. The girls made badges and there was also a display on this theme in the school library.
We believe it is important for our girls to feel they are important, productive community members. To help encourage this and build important life skills we support the girls in volunteering in our Esperance Community.
OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE GIRLS ACADEMY - WEDNESDAY 18th OCTOBER
On October 18th the Ricky Grace Esperance Girls Academy was officially opened. Some of the special guests included Ricky Grace, CEO of Role Models and Leaders Australia and the Girls Academy program; Gail Adamson-Reynolds who provided the Welcome to Country; Natalie Bowman, Deputy Shire President; Joanne McDonald, Company Secretary, IGO; Donna Gibson, Horizon Power; Kelly Penny, Westpac - Esperance Branch Manager; P&C Association and School Board member, Helen Staer; Megan Press, WA Country Health Promotion Officer; Jane Mulcock, Esperance Community Arts; Luke Pikerley EJBA; and Carl Butler, Esperance Care Services.
Ricky Grace, Anna Bonney (Program Manager) and Julie Hawke all gave inspiring speeches. Ricky congratulated the Academy staff, Anna Bonney, Annette Hanson and Michelle de Lacy (Development Officers) for the excellent progress the program has made to date - and thanked all school staff and local businesses involved. Two of the girls, Juanita Callow and Whitney Thorne, were excellent MCs on the day, and well done to Anna Reynolds, Tiahnee Penny and Alidea Stack who talked about what the program meant to them. The Girls' Wanjoo (Welcome) musical performance was a stand out performance. Congratulations to all involved on this excellent day! In the words of Ricky Grace, "This was one of the best Girls Academy launches I have ever attended."
The Esperance Girls Academy students attended their first ever Girls Academy Showcase in Perth on Tuesday and Wednesday the 14th and 15th August. The Showcase is an annual event where students from the Ricky Grace Girls Academies across WA come together for a variety of cultural, team building, career and adventure activities, culminating in a basketball carnival. The Esperance Girls Academy students were outstanding in all respects: participation, behaviour, sportsmanship and competitiveness. The girls excelled in the basketball competition, reaching the finals of the B grade division, a fantastic achievement for their first ever participation in the Showcase. The determination of the girls in the finals match was a tribute to their 'never say die' attitude, and they were gracious in defeat towards the Clontarf Girls Academy. Well done to all the girls, year 10 student Juanita Callow who was chosen from all 120 girls present to be the 'EmCee' at the official presentations, and the staff, Anna Bonney, Michelle de Lacy and Julie Hawke, for providing such a great experience for the girls.
The students involved were Juanita Callow, Nicolie Thomas, Jean Winmar, Whitney Thorne, Anna Williams, Tiahnee Penny, Zaleema Bourne, Anouska Graham, Marrisa Thorne and Jeliaha Councillor
In Term 3 our year 7 students have been attending cooking classes every Friday morning, Food sensations in partnership with Population Health Promotions and Foodbank. Megan Press is the Health Promotions Officer that has been educating the girls about healthy food choices and preparing a selection of healthy meals.