Opportunities for Halls Creek Kids – Dural Excellence Program

5 June 2012

Dural Education Excellence Program is a 2 year Pilot designed to help Halls Creek young people explore their academic options by giving them access to a number of high profile schools in the Sydney suburb of Dural.

Since commencing on 18 October 2011, the Dural Education Excellence Program (DEEP) has made a positive start, exceeding the expectations of all those involved with the Pilot Project.  Currently 10 students are now living in a boarding house with house parents Jamie and Tracey Elliot and their 3 children.

House Parent Jamie Elliot said “It may sound easy enough but for many Indigenous youth it is scary and quite often confronting diving into an entirely new environment and facing and dealing with the pressures.  That is why we have all come together to support these courageous kids”.

Sydney is a long way from home but when it comes to education no distance is too far for these Halls Creek youth; armed with a positive attitude, thirst for knowledge and pride in their steps, these youngsters are ready to take on the challenge of learning away from home and country.

William Clarke College, Pacific Hills Christian School, Wunan, Halls Creek District High School and Dural Baptist Church have come together to help provide a culturally appropriate family style boarding accommodation option for Halls Creek young people.

Ian Trust, Executive Director of Wunan said  “The Dural partnership is  focused on providing a range of social, leisure and sporting options as well as personal development support and pastoral care, thus  offering students a well balanced all around educational experience they may not have had back home”.

The program costs $22,000 per student, well above what Abstudy and families are able to fund. The program partners are working hard to source ongoing funding for the program and there have been challenges surrounding this.

Nick Thomas said “ the Wunan Board are so committed to this program that they are underwriting the current costs however we cannot sustain this into the future so it is vital that we find partners keen to invest in this unique program that  is making a tangible difference to the lives of these young people and their families.”

If you would like further details about Dural contact Michele Pucci at Wunan

Topic: Education