In 2006, ASPA directors and senior staff created Girls from Oz (g-oz), a charitable not-for-profit aiming to improve the education and employment outcomes for girls living in remote Australia. Working in Halls Creek, Carnarvon and Lockhart River, g-oz uses performing arts education as a hook of engagement to help keep Aboriginal girls in school. In 2010, g-oz invited 12 girls from Halls Creek to Melbourne for the first week long Travel Program. Our in-community programs have now reached over 2,000 girls across our three remote locations. Of these girls, 122 have participated in our annual Travel Programs.
The Travel program is one of the highlights of the g-oz calendar, largely due to the ‘two way’ cultural learning experience between g-oz girls and their AGC host families. The hosting experience is often the start of a relationship extending well beyond the Travel Program week. This year, 26 girls from our three communities will meet in Sydney, engaging in various educational, vocational and performing arts activities. Past participants have been interviewed on Koori Radio, performed at Government House, and toured the Google office. Of these experiences, performing alongside their AGC ‘respect sisters’ in the Annual Concert is always the highlight of the trip for our g-oz girls. Performing in iconic venues like the Sydney Opera House, our girls have used these experiences to pursue their future academic and employment aspirations. The success of the program is remarkable, with 81% of past Travel Program participants still in education or employment.
Our ability to extend this opportunity to so many girls is largely due to the growing generosity of AGC families, who choose to support g-oz. To find out more about the work of g-oz please visit the g-oz website, or follow us on Instagram and facebook. Tax deductible donations can be made on your daughter’s re-enrolment payment for or via GiveNow.