INDIGENOUS students from Hunter schools have gathered at TAFE’s Kurri Kurri campus for an event that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to pursue higher education.
More than 170 indigenous students in years 10 to 12 attended the second annual Deadly Skills – It’s Your Future, Claim It event, which is a collaboration between Hunter TAFE, the Newcastle Knights and the Aboriginal Learning Circle (Hunter).
Students heard from Knights players Dane Gagai, Jaelen Feeney and Robbie Rochow, NRL ambassador George Rose, past and present Indigenous Women’s All Stars Players, Australian Jillaroos representatives Emma and Julie Young and Aboriginal artist Saretta Fielding.
The Wakagetti Dance Troupe also performed and held workshops.
The event was launched last year to coincide with the NRL Indigenous Round and was established to promote education, connection to culture and empowerment of Indigenous students across the Hunter.
Newcastle Knights CEO, Matt Gidley, said the partnership was critical to the club’s promise to respectfully recognise Aboriginal culture as part of our wider community.
“While the Indigenous Round is an important event in our annual calendar, for the Knights recognition is much more about a longer term approach of the entire Club and our stakeholders,” Gidley said.
“Working with Hunter TAFE and the Learning Circle provides us with a holistic approach to achieving a better understanding of Aboriginal culture while engaging young indigenous people into important educational and sporting pathways.”
Hunter TAFE Deputy CEO, Marie Larkings, said the partnership aimed to provide youth with better ways to connect with education.
“There are so many options for young people and our job is to make it easier for them and we hope through this collaboration with the Knights’ and the Aboriginal Learning Circle we can engage young people and empower them to pursue their dreams," Ms Larkings said.
Aboriginal Learning Circle Director, Lillian Gordon said the event was all about youth empowerment.
“The Deadly Skills event is about collaboration between education, sport and the broader community to empower Aboriginal youth with knowledge and insight into educational opportunities, the importance of cultural identity and learning from role models in our community. It’s your future, claim it!”