The 2016 Girls Academy Showcase saw 140 girls from 14 different regional girls academies around Australia come together for a three day leadership camp and basketball tournament held at Curtin this week.
The Girls Academy Showcase originated at Clontarf Aboriginal College, but has since expanded and established acadamies in highschools across the country including Broome, Fitzroy, Alice Springs, Kununurra and Coonamble. The purpose of the Girls Academy is to use basketball to promote education and positive life skills.
The 2016 showcase was hosted by Curtin AHEAD in collaboration with Curtin Stadium, the Centre for Aboriginal Studies and the Faculty of Health Sciences.
On Monday and Wednesday the girls, whose ages range from 14 to 17, competed in a basketball tournament, while Tuesday was spent participating in educational activities relating to Nyungar culture, confidence building and pathways to higher education. Highlights included a Health Sciences Expo, where the girls met Curtin Director of Indigenous Engagement, Cheryl Davis, and a tour of the Nursing Skills Laboratory. They also had the opportunity to get hands on in a number of different Health Sciences activities relating to occupational therapy, social work, health promotion, nutrition, nursing and midwifery.
“This is eighth Girls Academy Showcase and it has really evolved over the years to become more than just basketball,” says Clontarf Program Coordinator, Des Delcoure. “It’s about breaking down barriers to higher education for these girls, and giving them a taste of what they can do at uni.”
“Getting to see the Curtin campus through this program has helped to ease my nerves about uni a bit, and give me an insight into what uni is like,” says Kayla, a member of Clontarf Girls Academy.
“I’ve enjoyed coming together and meeting different girls from all over Australia,” says Moesha, also a member of Clontarf Girls Academy.
For some of the girls it was their first time to Perth and their first experience of visiting a university campus, but others were returning for their second or third showcase and were enjoying their time back.
“This is my second time to Perth. It’s just a good experience to be around the other girls, and to encourage them to give things a go and be confident,” says Allana, a member of Centralian Girls Academy in Alice Springs.
Though not all of the girls were able to return home as champions of the basketball tournament, the Girls Academy Showcase has had a positive impact on all its participants, and continues to grow from strength to strength each year.