Program Review: October

October Update: AFLW in Mildura and residential programs

Round 9 of the AFLW season saw the first ever game played at the Mildura Sports Precinct between Richmond & GWS. The KGI team flew up 2 days prior to the game to continue to foster the connection between the First Nations young people of the area, re-engaging with the schools and handing out tickets to the game.

The KGI team organised a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony for the playing group prior to the game, and arranged for the KGI community to line up in the guard of honour.

We enjoyed catching up with many of our current and past KGI participants, and we’re proud that the Richmond Women’s team got the win. A big shout and congratulations to KGI staff member Sammy Bice who did a mountain of work, not only for the weekend, but also in helping set up the Sunraysia Women’s Footy league prior to her joining the KGI team. We know how much this game meant to her.

A Smoking Ceremony is performed prior to the AFLW game in Mildura

The return of our residential programs after a long hiatus throughout COVID was another highlight of the month.

A three-day residential program brought 18 Tiddas together in Naarm on Wurundjeri Country to spend some time focused on Women’s Business. Across the three days we saw our Tiddas participate in Traditional Aboriginal Games, weaving sessions, self-confidence and self-awareness workshops and they learnt how to express their culture through art and dance. After a busy morning, our Tiddas got to spend an afternoon at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Culture Centre followed by a game of ten pin bowling. We are deeply grateful for Aunty Shantelle, Holistic Coach Yolanda Finette, Wanyara TAG, and Fallon Te Paa who each shared their incredible knowledge and time during the program.

Young women practice the cultural art of weaving during the Tiddas Program in Naarm (Melbourne)

The Young Fellas Camp for 2022 was held in Albury/Wodonga on Wiradjuri Country, with 12 participants from across Victoria. KGI partnered with local business ‘Boys to the Bush’ who helped to facilitate the program. Boys to the Bush work with young men to encourage mateship, resilience, and a sense of belonging. The program gave the fellas the opportunity to explore more in-depth parts of their culture that are specific to men.

The young fellas participated in traditional customs such as a Welcome to Country, making a boomerang and a coolamon, and story telling around the fire. The young fellas were also lucky to learn about the Maori culture with Jeremy Nikora from the VEC, sharing what it means to be a proud Maori man. The young fellas demonstrated their leadership while learning more about their culture and identity, being respectful of one another during discussions. Overall, the young fellas thrived being on Country, with the friendships and connections they made being everlasting.