In 2006, ASPA Directors and senior staff were dreaming about ways to be able to provide high quality performing arts education to more children and young people, particularly girls who lacked access to these opportunities because of their location or financial status. The following year, Girls from Oz (g-oz) was born.
Ten years later g-oz engages over 400 students in three remote locations, Halls Creek and Carnarvon in Western Australia and Lockhart River in Queensland. Specialist g-oz Instructors, many of whom are also AGC staff, deliver week-long intensives in each program location and choose participants who are engaged both at school and with the g-oz program to take part in the annual Travel Program. These selected participants travel to capital cities to share in cultural exchange with AGC choristers and to undertake activities which expand their horizons. Since 2010, 81 g-oz participants have travel on 11 trips, visiting Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney and we’re proud to report that 89% of these are now employed or still studying, at their local school, at schools all over the country or in higher education.
This year we will have the highest number of travel program participants ever, with 8 Lockhart River girls travelling to Brisbane, 8 Carnarvon girls travelling to Melbourne and 10 Halls Creek girls travelling to Perth. The fact that we are able to offer this opportunity to so many girls is due in large part to the generosity of AGC families who have opened their homes to g-oz participants and have made countless donations, large and small, to g-oz.
With funding from Lotterywest, we were able to send a LOUD Films crew to Halls Creek, our first program location, to document the many benefits our program has had on the town and its young women over the past eight years. Filming will continue in November but we encourage you to watch a snippet of what we’ve captured so far. We are also thrilled to announce that we recently received a Westpac Community Grant and were selected to be one of the feature recipients. This included our Carnarvon participants filming a commercial for the Westpac Foundation and recording the new nationwide Westpac hold music.
The charity partnership with AGC is a very important aspect to the growth and success of g-oz and we are grateful for the enthusiastic support of a growing number of AGC families. To find out more about our work please visit the g-oz website. Tax deductible donations can be made on your daughter’s re-enrolment payment form or via Give Now.