Girls Academy opens its doors at Swan View SHS

L-R: Keturah Clinch (12) of Jane Brook, Kellie Tucker (Program Manager, Swan View SHS Girls Academy), Lizel Buckley (Development Officer, Swan View SHS Girls Academy) and Keisha Reed (13) of Stratton. Photo: David Baylis
L-R: Keturah Clinch (12) of Jane Brook, Kellie Tucker (Program Manager, Swan View SHS Girls Academy), Lizel Buckley (Development Officer, Swan View SHS Girls Academy) and Keisha Reed (13) of Stratton. Photo: David Baylis

AN in-school mentoring program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls has opened up at Swan View Senior High School this term.

The Girls Academy began in 2004 in Western Australia and has expanded to nearly 46 sites and 2640 students across Australia.

Noongar woman Kellie Tucker will manage the program, which aims to improve school attendance, increase graduation rates, encourage personal and academic achievement, and help the girls plan for further study and employment after high school.

She will be supported by Swan View Girls Academy Development Officer Lizel Buckley, a former state basketball player with extensive experience in youth programs, including running the Night Hoops program with Griffin Longley.

Ms Tucker said she was excited to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls to become the community leaders of the future.

“I am looking forward to working with the girls and their families who are involved in the Academy and continuing to be a role model in the community,” she said.

“I would like the girls to become strong independent young women who value their education and become leaders in their community.

“The Girls Academy program will provide great opportunities for these students.”

Girls Academy WA Regional Manager Michelle Woosnam said she was passionate about the program after experiencing the positive impact it has had on her own community in Bunbury.

“After meeting with families and school staff at Swan View Senior High School I am humbled by the commitment shown in the early stages of our Girls Academy Program and look forward to working alongside Kellie Tucker, the school and the local community in building relationships with the local community and strengthening pathways to graduation, further studies and successful careers for these girls,” she said.

The Girls Academy delivers a comprehensive program delivered by full-time on-site staff involving homework clubs, mentoring, health and wellbeing activities, cultural connection events, sport, and post-school planning events.

Since its inception the Academy has increased class attendance rates and graduation rates across Australia.

A survey of our 2018 graduates found that 82 per cent are now in further study, employment, or both.