With two weeks left to go, we have very mixed feelings about coming home! But more on that in the next and perhaps final post.
It’s hard to believe it’s been another month out here in the Kimberley! We’ve managed to squeeze a whole bunch of festivities into the month of August, both in terms of work and leisure.
Two weeks ago, we were greeted with the arrival of 12 additional secondees from six organisations, bringing the grand total to 16. Their arrival also marked the beginning of the much anticipated induction week, and it certainly did not disappoint.
My personal highlights for the week was cultural awareness day.
Cultural awareness day, held over the hills of Mangalada
The most memorable moment was story-sharing around the campfire, set against a backdrop of red soil and sparse greenery. What resonated with me the most was the explanation as to why Aboriginal people prefer not to make eye contact when they speak. To paraphrase, humans are born with two ears and one mouth so it only makes sense that we should turn our ears towards the other person when he or she is speaking. So that we can hear what they have to say.
On what’s been happening with work
- Discussions are well advanced with two leading schools in Melbourne who are keen to establish partnerships with us
- The new schools we’ve been in discussion with have gone above and beyond, opting to offer free accommodation and tuition for our students
- As a consequence, this has necessitated a shift in our focus, away from fund-raising and towards gaining better transparency on the ABSTUDY payments each student can be expected to receive
- With free boarding and tuition, we are investigating a potential funding model aimed at sustaining itself over time. That is, a model which does away with the need for ongoing government donations or philanthropic funding. Scalability is the dream here
- Of course, as with all else, there are challenges needing to be overcome and we are working closely with the team here and relevant government departments.
On leisure and weekends
- One weekend, I was entrusted to take the new secondee group out to a secret natural spring location courtesy of a tip-off from Tony, my favourite 4WD instructor
- The weekend just past, I finally found the courage (or stupidity) to swim in Lake Argyle despite the prospects of having to wrestle freshwater crocodiles
- Looking ahead, we have the East Kimberley Aboriginal Achievements Awards happening this Saturday (this has happened and it was tiring but awesome) and the executives are in town in two weeks’ time, so expect a mad rush to the finish line!