Welcome

We would like to officially welcome and thank Helen Surma, our Aborignal Education Assistant. Helen has a strong sense of culture and many years experience with working with students. Helen began working at the College in 2020 and has proved to be an invaluable support to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff.

 

Ms Delaney Nugent is our new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison for 2021, taking the place of Ms Kelli Grose who has started a new position with the CEO in Wollongong. Ms Nugent is a highly regarded teacher at the College and is ecstatic to begin working in this capacity with our students, staff and wider community.

Aim

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Department at Holy Spirit College offers educational assistance,  support, cultural awareness and a range of opportunities and experiences for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison, Ms Delaney Nugent and the Aboriginal Education Assistant Helen Surma work in conjunction with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, students, parents and staff at the College to deepen and enhance the understanding of  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures.

Support

PLP’s: Personalised Learning Plans are completed by students and their families on a semester basis. The purpose of these plans is for the student to set goals for their own learning and to identify for themselves their strengths and areas in which they believe they could improve, in order to stay engaged in their learning. Using the information provided, the staff work on assisting students with their goals in a supportive and holistic manner.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander room is open at recess and lunchtime for students and friends during which time they can have conversations with Helen and Ms Nugent and ask for support if and when needed.

Mentoring

In previous years the College has worked with AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience). In 2021 we will be moving in a new direction and implementing a new educational and cultural pathways program, focusing on cultural engagement and education.

The program will assist our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with their studies and provide a rich cultural experience. It will enhance personal and interpersonal skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to succeed and excel during and after school.

We are also looking at forming an in school tutoring program where our Year 11 students mentor our junior students one period every fortnight. This program will give our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the opportunity to ask for additional support with their studies and see students of the College working alongside each other promoting supportive relationships within the school.

Additionally, the NRL’s School2Work Program will work with our Year 11 and 12 students. This program supports senior students with their studies throughout the last two years of school and continues to help with their successful transition from school to post school education, training and employment.

Educational Opportunities

SCHOLARSHIPS:

Years 7-12:

There are a number of scholarships available to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Many of our students have been selected and received Science and Engineering scholarships in the past. Scholarship details are accessible on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander google classroom.

TAFE SCHOLARSHIPS:

TAFE scholarships valued at $1,500 are available to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to assist with course fees and other course-related charges.

UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS:

Almost every University in Australia has an Indigenous Unit for additional support and each offer a number of scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Scholarships range from $1000 to $60000.

Below are just a few of the Universities and their Indigenous Units which offer scholarships for students studying an undergraduate degree.

 

Charles Sturt University Centre for Indigenous Studies
Macquarie University Warawara, Department of Indigenous Studies
Southern Cross University Gnibi, College of Indigenous Australian Peoples
University of New England Oorala Aboriginal Centre
University of New South Wales Nura Gili
University of Newcastle The Wollotuka Institute
University of Sydney Koori Centre
University of Technology Sydney Jimbunna Indigenous House of Learning
University of Wollongong Woolyungah Indigenous Centre

Reconciliation Walk:

The annual Walk for Reconciliation run by Bellambi Public School did not go ahead this year due to Covid. We are hoping it will run again in 2021 where we can again participate with other students and Aboriginal Elders from our community.

Ceremonies and Awards

DEADLY AWARDS: Holy Spirit College are also involved in the “Deadly Awards,” where students are recognised for their outstanding commitment within the year, to improve in a range of areas from attendance, community involvement, entertainment, sport and music and show a general positive attitude towards their culture, education and learning.

Unfortunatley, we could not celebrate these awards together due to Covid restrictions.

Holy Spirit College award winners for 2020 were: 

Gillian Anderson – Year 10

Reason for nomination: Gillian regularly displays an interest in and engages with her cultural background. Gillian is the first to put her hand up to undertake commitments within the school and community.

Aaron Bower – Year 10

Reason for nomination: Aaron is excelling in Mathematics and Science through his commitment and dedication to his studies. His school attendance during years 7-10 has also been exemplary

Funding Grant

CEO: We are extremely lucky at Holy Spirit College to receive a grant from the CEO in Wollongong to use towards enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. Through receiving this grant, we have been able to start designing and planning our Yarning Circle, which we hope to continue to immerse our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and non Indigenous students in culture through the acquisition of art, art supplies and other educational items. Our support unit students regularly took part in activities, which all students thoroughly enjoyed.

Cultural Programs

In 2021 we plan to continue our Didgeridoo program for our male students. Weaving lessons will be on offer for girls and we are also hoping to begin an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance program for interested students, further embracing the heritage and culture of the traditional custodians of this land.

Visitors to Holy Spirit College

UNCLE KEVIN BUTLER: Kevin spends every Thursday at Holy Spirit College, working alongside students improving their painting and knowledge of skills in Aboriginal Art. Students enjoy having Uncle Kev as a mentor and have produced some wonderful artwork with his knowledge and guidance.

Uncle Kev, along with the Year 7 students completed our Integrity Mural. This is a meaningful piece of artwork which the College is extremely proud of. A mural painted by Uncle Kev and our Year 7 students will be completed each year and displayed in the CRC, an initiative of our Principal, Mr Chris Agnew.