Tom Price Indigenous students recently participated in The Karijini Experience, immersing themselves in a variety of unique cultural experiences in the Karijini National Park including listening to opera in Kalamina Gorge.
On April 30, 15 students from the Tom Price Senior High School Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program traveled to Karijini National Park and were given an overview of the park, its gorges, and the importance of respecting the land before spending the night at the Karijini Eco Retreat.
The following morning the group was joined by students from the Tom Price Learning Club and started the day with a talk by local Gurama man Wayne Stevens about the land, local language groups, and a lesson on how to make damper.
Program co-ordinator Joe Manning said other speakers included Cathy Finch, a photographer and travel journalist who shared her experiences and love of photography followed by a great interactive astronomy session from Dr Alan Duffy from Swinburne University of Technology.
“After lunch, the students were treated to some opera in Kalamina Gorge, from famous Indigenous Opera Singer Deborah Cheetham” Joe said.
“Mrs Cheetham met with the students in the gorge and gave an inspirational speech, musical workshop, and shared some of her favourite songs,” he said. “The students all enjoyed hearing her story and getting involved in the impromptu singing lesson.”
Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success (year 7-?12) and Learning Clubs (Kindergarten-? Year 6) are two of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation’s programs which provide after school tuition and individual mentoring support for Indigenous students. Programs have been in place in Tom Price since 2002 thanks to ongoing support from Rio Tinto, Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, Yinhawangka Charitable Trust and the Department of Education (Western Australia).
The Karijini Experience was established in 2013 by the Pilbara Inland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and aims to attract people to the region and maximise their experience of the spectacular Karijini National Park.
Tom Price Follow the Dream/Partnerships for success project co-?ordinator Joe Manning M: 0438 809 858
Gumala Traditional Owner Wayne Stevens with Tom Price Senior High School students Caitlin Thomas, Zackariah Graham and Dana Hansen.