High hopes for new centre

Balga Senior High School principal Geoff Harris with Wadjak Northside Community Group members Len Yarran and Shane Garlett.Picture: Dominique Menegaldo www.communitypix.com.au d399160
Balga Senior High School principal Geoff Harris with Wadjak Northside Community Group members Len Yarran and Shane Garlett.Picture: Dominique Menegaldo www.communitypix.com.au d399160

The partnership will see the Warriapendi Pre-Primary School, disused since 2009, transformed into an Aboriginal Resource Centre. The City of Stirling agreed last Tuesday night to lease the vast majority of the site to the WNACG for five years, with an option to renew for a further five years.

WNACG chairman Len Yarran said he was extremely happy with the City’s decision and that the group was now free to turn the building into a meeting place for cultural activities and, he added, a place of cultural change.

‘We want it to be a one-stop shop for indigenous people in the area to come and work together, yarn and tell stories,’ he said.

‘It’s also a place to showcase our culture to the community, it’s a place of cultural exchange. There is a real diverse array of cultures in Balga, we’re just one of those cultures.

‘It will allow us to grow together as a strong community.

‘We’re trying to move this as quickly as possibly but we’re planting the seed that will last for a long time, and we want to make sure the seed that we plant is healthy, we know who is going to water it, we know who is going to fertilise it and we know who will pick the fruit off that tree.

‘If we do that right, then that tree will feed the community with a lot of fruit and knowledge.’

The WNACG formed out of programs run from Balga Senior High School, and Mr Yarran said the resource centre, which would be located close by, would place an importance on the education of the next generation of indigenous youth.

‘It’s a place to show parents that they have to send their kids to school, education is the key,’ he said.

‘No matter where they come from ” they could come from alcohol backgrounds, drug backgrounds, they could be suffering from a lot of stuff out in the community but if they put the hard work in with the right support’