ICEA’s July remote communities trip to the Dampier Peninsula was a huge success. This trip was especially significant as it was the first time we would be (hopefully) taking kids who had particularly good attendance at school out on to country for a cultural excursion.
The crew, consisting of Curtis, Caz, Ashton and Lockie, landed in Broome on Monday the 20th of July and we piled everything and everyone into the Troopie and hit the road. Beagle Bay was our first stop and in the morning of the 21st at the schools assembly we presented 61 kids with prizes for 85% attendance or higher and of those 29 achieved 100% attendance! While in Beagle Bay we got the chance to hang out with the Nyul Nyul Rangers. It was such a pleasure to hear everything these legends do for their community and we are very excited for their future involvement with the incentives program!
While Caz was faking sick, Curto packed the car and we all drove up to Djarinjin/Lombadina. That night there was the basketball grand finals on in One Arm Point that was entertaining, exciting and enjoyed by all who attended! At the Djarinjin school the next day ICEA teamed up with the Bardi Jawi and Bardi Oorany (men and women ranger groups). The rangers, led by Kevin, updated the kids on the turtle tagging project they had reported on last time and Curtis and Caz announced and awarded the incentives! 25 kids achieved 85% or higher attendance for the second term of the academic year.
That afternoon was the highly anticipated cultural excursion for the students who had the highest attendance. With the permission slips signed and a convoy of troopies – ICEA, the Rangers and the Djardinjin and One Arm Point school kids headed onto the white sands of the Dardinjin beaches. The Rangers took us all out to see some historically and culturally significant locations. We had a look at footprints that had been set into stone 1000s of years before when it was soft, wet mangrove mud! Kids spent time finding and walking in the actual footsteps of their ancestors. The rangers then took us to ‘the kitchen’ – what seemed to be a sand hill covered in shells, proved to be an important site when the kids got to learn about the diet of their ancestors through of the cleaning of the shells that went on. To finish the celebration of the kids achievements, an epic swim followed by a sunset feast on the beach had many kids frothing on life. Looking forward, we hope to bring about more cultural experiences for the hard working kids such as a Catch, Cook and Yarn.
From there we hitched a ride with Zac, one of the rangers from One Arm Point, and had our last night on the Dampier Peninsula. The next morning were lucky enough to have Jasirah by our side at the One Arm Point school assembly to hand out the incentives! Always good to have her around to help us pronounce the kids names correctly… Zac also presented a few of the kids and all up 38 kids were rewarded for their awesome efforts of 85% attendance for term 2!
The whole team including the rangers and the school staff made this trip the success it was. We all really appreciate the efforts everyone put in and are humbled by how welcoming the communities are towards us! We’re especially excited about the future of this program with the increased involvement from the Bardi Jawi, Bardi Oorany and Nyul Nyul rangers and hope the next cultural excursion is even more of a success! Thank you everyone for an all round frothy adventure, we can’t wait for next time.
Caroline ‘Caz’ House and Curtis ‘Curto’ Spencer
ICEA Remote Community Coordinators