Indigenous Opportunities (Principal's Thoughts)
Friday 9 August
St Hilda’s has the opportunity to change lives forever.
In July we welcomed back to St Hilda’s Ammbigai Muir, one of our 2017 Indigenous graduates, as part of our NAIDOC celebrations. Ammbigai spoke to our senior girls of her time at St Hilda’s and the incredible opportunities that were gifted to her as part of her St Hilda’s education; gifts that she embraced and used to make a difference for good. During her time at St Hilda’s, Ammbigai was responsible for the instalment of the Indigenous flag at the front of our school and gave many powerful and passionate speeches at assembly.
While studying at St Hilda’s and through the generosity of a BHP Nickel West Scholarship, Ammbigai had the opportunity to attend an excursion one weekend with her fellow boarders to Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach. It was through this experience that she developed her passion and motivation to one day have her artwork displayed at this prestigious event. You can only imagine her excitement (and our excitement!) when her artwork was chosen as part of the 2019 Sculptures by the Sea Exhibition. Ammbigai was one of the youngest artists chosen to be part of the exhibition and presented as one of only a few Indigenous artists.
When meeting with Ammbigai to thank her for sharing such a personal and heart-felt address to our senior girls, she shared with me the incredible influence and impact that her St Hilda’s experience had on her aspirations and dreams. St Hilda’s changed her future pathways and opened up opportunities that she only dreamed about as a young Indigenous girl growing up in Leonora.
I am pleased to share with you our School’s renewed commitment to provide scholarship opportunities to Indigenous girls at St Hilda’s. Over the last few months I have been working closely with our Director of Boarding, Rachel Stenslunde, to re-establish partnerships and conduct several school and university visits in preparation for introducing Indigenous scholarships to girls commencing Year 7 in January 2021.
We are pleased to be working in partnership with Madalah, a non-for-profit organisation that specialises in offering financial support to rural and remote indigenous children during their secondary and tertiary years of schooling. Madalah believe that ‘education is the key to generational change and opportunity’ and this aligns closely with our St Hilda’s belief.
We are currently drafting a School Reconciliation Plan and will be appointing an Indigenous Coordinator in the near future. This role will be pivotal in working closely with our Director of Boarding in overseeing regional and remote visits in April - June next year. Key to this role will be oversight of a selection process that ensures that the girls chosen are positioned to flourish and make the most of a St Hilda’s education.
We are excited to share this development and commitment with our broader community and look forward to supporting Indigenous girls and seeing them achieve their goals and aspirations through the vehicle of a St Hilda’s education. If this is something you are passionate about and keen to support, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
READ MORE PRINCIPAL'S THOUGHTS HERE.