By Corin Mackay
Broncos Student Support Officer Sheena Warton said Indigenous girls worked with Broncos ambassadors Alex Glenn, Ryan James and local singer/songwriter and South Sea and Yuwi Burra descendant Waveney Yasso, discussing the legacies left by Indigenous Elders for present and future generation.
“We had in-depth discussions around Indigenous Elders who have left a legacy for future generations, which in turn inspired the students to think about what legacy they want to leave behind,” Sheena said.
“Students also learned how to build and use resilience in all aspects of life but especially when engaging and commenting on social media.”
Broncos community communications manager Katherine Jurd said the workshops form part of the Beyond the Broncos Indigenous Girls Academy, providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with mentoring and support, delivered through a cultural lens that they may not otherwise be available within the school.
“The Beyond the Broncos program focuses on strengths-based mentoring, skills training, school attendance, positive participation, leadership, mental wellbeing and cultural identity, providing students with access to a range of activities that aren’t available to those outside the program.
“School-based Beyond the Broncos Student Support Officers work directly with students providing one-on-one and group mentoring, tutoring, workshops and cultural activities to support students to complete their senior school and transition into further education or employment,” she said.
The program functions as an extension of the education system rather than reproducing it, and Student Support Officers work closely with school teachers and staff to provide specific and unique support to each student, allowing them to achieve their full potential.
Each term, Broncos ambassadors deliver a workshop to students participating in the program that is designed to support and reinforce the work of the Student Support Officers, focusing on key themes such as leadership, identity and legacy.
Katherine said the workshops that Forest Lake State High School students engaged with this term, Being Deadly: Building a Legacy, and Deadly Democracy, encourage students to think about the person they want to become and the legacy they want to leave.
“Through interactive activities and an exploration of influential Indigenous leaders and change makers, students are supported to identify how they can start building their own legacy,” she said.
The workshops also help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students approaching voting age to understand Australian voting and election processes and the history of voting laws in Australia.
Students in the program can also participate in a mock election with Broncos ambassadors to understand the process of preferential voting.