Indigenous Youth Leadership Workshop
Br Bernard White provides us with this
report on a recent Indigenous Youth Leadership Workshop...
THE YEAR, Marlene Jackamarra, the Indigenous Issues Officer for
the Christian Brothers WA, has been working to organize the Indigenous
Youth Leadership Workshop. The presenter for the workshop was Themba
Lonzi, a skilled facilitator who works extensively with youth in
South Africa. Themba has his own theatre group as well as a band
in South Africa.
Participants for the workshop were mainly year ten students from
five of the six Christian Brother schools in Western Australia.
There were a combined total of twenty-five students from Trinity
College, Christian Brothers College Fremantle, Catholic Agricultural
College Bindoon, Christian Brothers Agricultural School Tardun and
Clontarf Aboriginal College.
centrepiece of the workshop was the documentary film, Bringing
Them Home. This video shows the national inquiry into the
separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from
their families. The purpose in screening this video was to assist
the students to see and understand how it was for aboriginal people
who were affected by the separation from their families. Even though
the stolen generation is a past event, Themba facilitated a discussion
that attempted to help the student understand that this past event
still has an impact on their life today. Through small group discussion,
the students were able to reflect on some of the following questions:
- What experiences do I have today that are connected to the past?
- When viewing particular events or presentations on the media
that are connected with the past, how do I feel when I view these
- How did the bad things that happened in the past affect my family?
- What were the decisions that parents and communities made?
- Why did some accept?
- Why did some resist?
- What are the opportunities and choices we have that my parents
- How is Australias history affecting me as a young Australian?
- What lessons can I take from Australias past?
- How can I and other young people help in creating a better society
- Overall the workshop was a very positive experience for the
participants and it is hoped to run the workshop again next year.
Br Bernard White cfc