Celebrating young Indigenous women in Sydney's Northern Beaches
We answered the call to give a fresh lick of paint to this Northern Beaches hostel that gives Indigenous girls from regional New South Wales a chance to obtain the best education they can
Biala Aboriginal Boarding House provides accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls from all over New South Wales while they attend the local public high school. Biala is a home away from home for Indigenous girls aged between 12 and 17, giving them access to opportunities and experiences they wouldn't have in their hometowns.
Recently, in an initiative led by Zali Steggall OAM, MP, the local member for Warringah, Biala received a much-needed facelift, including external landscaping, painting and artwork, as well as a refresh inside the accommodation.
GIVIT sourced a range of items to help make the hostel a home away from home for the girls, including a dining table and 12 chairs, study desks, curtains, rugs, drawers, lamps and other furniture. Paint, indoor and outdoor plants and gardening tools were also donated via GIVIT. In addition, we were able to donate ten laptops to the girls to assist with their studies courtesy of a generous corporate donor.
Important opportunities for First Nations Australians
According to the latest Closing the Gap Report, the proportion of Indigenous Australians aged 20-24 years who had attained year 12 or equivalent increased from 45% in 2008 to 66% in 2018-2019. Whilst this is good progress, the gap between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous year 12 attainment (96%) is still far too stark.
There's no denying that an education divide exists for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, especially those living in remote areas where secondary school options are limited. The year 12 attainment rate for Indigenous Australians in major cities is 85%, compared with 8% in very remote areas.
As soon as I met the girls from Biala, I knew our community could come together to help them and make their hostel more comfortable.
As someone who was away from home a lot when I was competing, I know how important it is to have a home away from home. I'm so proud of Warringah coming together to achieve this amazing result.
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