Young women SHINE across Mid West Gascoyne
Published: 2nd October 2012
RDA Mid West Gascoyne (Western Australia) has fostered an innovative program that was established at the John Willcock College, Geraldton, to address the lack of school attendance in young Indigenous women.
The program is set in a purpose built hairdressing salon which allows the women to gain a structured program of learning and hands on experience. The aim of the Students Hairdressing INcorporating Education (SHINE) program is to work on improving the confidence and wellbeing of the young women.
The life skills and values based training that have been created in this structured environment has had a positive effect on the women. They have gained fundamental principles in the year long course such as accountability, responsibility, trust and structure. The course is fun and attendance retention is high.
SHINE is a course that targets female students aged 13-15 who are classified in the ‘at risk’, category. At risk is defined as a young person that has experienced sexual assault, crime, juvenile detention and other issues such as self-harm.
One hundred and forty students have attended the SHINE program and each has demonstrated a huge improvement in interpersonal skills, social relationships, engagement, connectedness and confidence. Since the project started the attendance rates of some of the women has increased from two to 67 per cent.
Having been inspired by their own success through the program, a number of the SHINE women are now giving back to the community through the SHINE Bus program, which supports the Hillcrest Home and the Women’s Resource Centre.
The SHINE program has paved the way for the women to be able to accept the possibility that education and training can provide a bright new and alternative future.
RDA Mid West Gascoyne are working with other schools and aim for the program to grow across the region.
To find out more, visit the RDA Mid West Gascoyne website.
(Pictured above) SHINE participants left to right, back row: Natasha Yarrin, Aimee Radcliff, Mandy Jolley SHINE Director, Natasha Lay, Tiffany Collard and Myrabelle Ronan. Front row: Raquel Cross, Zemma Connell, Sharna Robinson and Isabelle Croswell.