For over 30 years, the Australian Girls Choir has brought performing arts education to girls around Australia, starting in Melbourne, and today operating across six capital cities. But, we always had a desire to take our programs even further afield than the capital cities.
A decade ago, the AGC was contacted by a leader from a small remote Australian town that needed help. Halls Creek is located the East Kimberley region of WA, with a population of under 3,000. Life prospects for girls were very poor, and the community was looking for ways to encourage girls to attend school, complete school, and look towards a positive future. This is where the relationship between the girls and young women of Halls Creek and our charity partner Girls from Oz (g-oz) began.
Nearly 40% of the Aboriginal population in Halls Creek has gone no further than Year 10. Finishing school is uncommon, and going on to tertiary education is practically unheard of. In the Melbourne suburb of Kew, 60% of the population have completed some form of tertiary education, in Halls Creek, only 8% of the Aboriginal population have had the same opportunity.
Girls from Oz travels to Halls Creek to work with the girls in their own school. Using a similar performing arts curriculum as your daughter experiences in the AGC, girls learn to sing, dance, and perform in a fun and supportive environment. They are encouraged to try, and encouraged to achieve. Girls engage in the program, and engage in their education, and their future. Many girls in Halls Creek now not only attend school regularly, they complete high school, and beyond!
Recently, some of our AGC choristers took the opportunity to travel to Halls Creek to meet their g-oz ‘respect sisters’ in their home town, and to see a different kind of Australia. We recently released this documentary about this experience: Girls from Oz: These are our Daughters. Future Mothers. Future Leaders.
The AGC choristers who participated in this tour were self-funded, but g-oz’s operational costs are supported by generous donations. This includes our highly successful Travel Program, where we bring g-oz participants from remote communities to a capital city to perform with the Australian Girls Choir and take part in educational and employment experiences.
If you would like to support the work of g-oz, please consider making a tax deductible donation through your daughter’s 2020 AGC re-enrolment form or here.