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DHUB has been working with Dubbo South Public School this term to help young girls build positive relationships and support their Identity Journeys as First Nations Women.
The SistaSpeak program aims to strengthen the mindset of young girls, teaching them skills such as resilience, expression and self-care. Through fortnightly visits to the school over three sessions, the team at DHUB gave students a space to explore important issues and discuss how to overcome them.
The first session focused on resilience. The DHUB team spoke with students about what resilience looks like and why it is important to create positivity when experiencing something difficult. Students discussed their situations and how they could show resilience in what they were facing.
“We have been working on the importance of surrounding themselves with positive influences in their lives,” said Caroline, DHUB School Teams Leader.
The next visit took a more practical approach. Calling on the journeys students had spoken about previously, they were invited to translate their stories into art by designing their very own SistaSpeak shirts. Several designs illustrated the importance of family, while others addressed barriers they have faced. Some students recalled difficult experiences at school and how their friends had acted as a support system through this time.
The common theme throughout these stories was the strength these young girls had shown in overcoming their struggles.
The last session took a different approach by teaching the participants about self-care. Students relaxed with mud masks, facials, and seaweed scrubs while sharing a conversation about creating a skincare routine. The intent was to teach the girls how physical wellbeing can play a part in emotional wellbeing and offer tools to continue this care independently.
Throughout these sessions, engaging the girls in activities opened a safe space to discuss issues they were facing and start the journey toward building their resilience.
This term saw incredible growth for the SistaSpeak participants, and DHUB is looking forward to continuing the work with these girls and Dubbo South Public School next term.
As part of the NSW Government’s OCHRE initiative (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment), Bamara leads the work of the Dubbo Opportunity Hub (DHUB), a program for Aboriginal students in Dubbo and Wellington focusing on transitioning from education to careers and employment.