Tamworth Opportunity Hub E-News
Edition 22: May 2018

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Pitch Perfect

From pitch night successes to practicing culture, and NAIDOC preparation to perfect punches - the Tamworth Opportunity Hub has been working hard to ensure students are provided with the best educational and cultural engagement opportunities that can be offered.

Our constant inspiration is the potential that we see amongst our young people, and keeping in touch with their dreams for the future, keeps us coming up with new ideas to help them on their way.

Since the beginning of this year we've had two new schools come on board for 2018 and we're looking forward to extending the reach of our programs. Read on to find out what we've been up to, and as always, if you have ideas for new programs, projects or partnerships - get in touch! We'd love to hear from you.

In this edition:

  • Lighting the Fire for our Children
  • A passion for fitness
  • Bounce Back Wrap Up
  • Careers Night at the Youthie
  • Trelawney - Focus on Cultural Education
  • NAIDOC Coolamon Project

Lighting the Fire for our children


The Tamworth
Opportunity Hub's Patrick Strong and Jacob Stanton successfully secured $62,500 funding for the School Holiday Program when they were given the opportunity to "pitch" the concept to a crowd of local community leaders at the Hunter New England Central Coast Public Health Network's (HNECC PHN) Pitch Night held on Thursday 12 April.

Wii wiima-li Gaaynmara-gal, which means "lighting the fire within our children," is the Tamworth LALC and Opportunity Hub's school holiday program which provides cultural and recreational opportunities for Aboriginal students from K - Year 6.

The innovative funding process saw three local organisations - the Tamworth Opportunity Hub, Beyond Empathy, and Gomeroi Education and Training - each presenting a project to support Aboriginal community wellbeing.

After the presentations, each audience member was given a vote, which they could use to support one or all of the projects, in order to distribute the funding available.

A spokesman for the HNECC PHN said that all of the presenters did “a wonderful job sharing their passions for empowering those in our region through their health initiative”.

$150,000 was allocated to the three projects on the night, with the Opportunity Hub taking out the largest share at $62,500.

The new funding will allow the Opportunity Hub to continue running the Tamworth LALC’s school holiday program until 2020.

Through the School Holiday program we are able to keep our kids positively engaged during the school holiday period and it’s another chance for them to connect with local role models, such as high school students who have volunteered their time, who they probably would not otherwise have the opportunity to engage with.

The Tamworth Opportunity Hub staff would like to send a special thanks to Adrian Arndt, who first became involved with the School Holiday program as a Nestle volunteer, for making time to fly up and be our advocate for the Pitch Night. 

Pat and Jacob were winners for the Opportunity Hub at the HNECC PHN Pitch Night.
(Above left) Adrian Arndt spoke as an advocate for the School Holiday Project on Pitch Night, and (right) audience members voting to pledge their funding.
A passion for fitness
Boxing has been a passion of Jacob Stanton's since his early teens and has seen him through some tough times. In fact, he is so passionate about the sport and its benefits, that he has begun teaching Fitbox at the PCYC two nights per week. 

"When you are training for a fight, you need a clear vision of the end goal, a strong understanding of the skills required and how they all come together, and the determination and commitment to get you there," Jacob said.

That focused goal setting, and the ability to understanding the recipe for success, are lessons that can be transferred to any part of your life. "It's actually a big part of what we do at the Opportunity Hub," Jacob said, "That's why I love it so much - we're giving kids the skills they need one by one, an opportunities to practice them until they come naturally, and ensuring they feel confidence when they're ready to get into the ring."
Jacob's free classes run at the PCYC each Tuesday and Thursday. For enquiries ring 6766 5009.

Bounce Back Wrap Up

TERM 1, 2018

The first term of Bounce Back was a resounding success 112 players registered for the season, and an average of 50 participants each week. Activities included Basketball, Karaoke and presentations from the Army, Navy, Fire Brigade and other local organisations.

One of the most popular workshops of the season was the Fire Brigade Night, with students having the opportunity to play with the fire engine hoses and many going home saturated!

The White Team (pictured below left) were the winners of the Bounce Back basketball grant final, winning a total of 14 games over 8 weeks of Bounce Back.

Local young people loved the chance to play with the Firies' equipment at their Bounce Back workshop.

Careers Night at the Youthie
A careers night was held at the Youthie on Thursday 19 April during the school holidays. Local organisations including the Opportunity Hub, headspace, Calrossy Careers and local businesses supported the event which attracted local young people to come and explore the opportunities on show.

As part of the Opportunity Hub's stall, staff provided demonstrations with Aboriginal weapons, attracting the interest of many local young people.
Trelawney - Focus on cultural education

Two cultural education days, one for boys and one for girls, were held at Trelawney over the April school holidays. A small group of high school students elected to participate in the days which saw them exposed to a range of cultural knowledge and skills.

Donny Fermor, the Tamworth LALC's Aboriginal sites officer was the guest speaker for the boys' day and spoke to the group about how to read signs in their environments such as animal tracks and droppings.  Feedback from the boys was that the information was very interesting and opened their eyes up to how much you can learn from looking around you and understanding what you see.

The girls' day was lead by Lynde Bartel who touched on women's business knowledge that the girls could put into practice. One activity that had them all in stitches was a blindfolded make-up challenge (see photos below). Lynde's in-depth cultural knowledge of the resources in the natural environment that could be used to make a simple moisturiser and facial cleanser/ make-up remover had the girls enthralled and sorted them out in no time!
NAIDOC Coolamon Project
This year's NAIDOC theme is "Because of Her, We Can" and women from across the Tamworth community are set to be honoured as part of the 2018 NAIDOC Awards. While the nominations for the Awards have not yet opened, preparations are well under way, with prize packs being developed locally by a small group of young people drawn from local Aboriginal organisations and the community. 

Lakeisha Hile, Hollie Taggart, Sam Duncan and Brittni Wann from Tamworth LALC, worked with Kate Sutherland from Gomeroi gaaynggal, volunteers Amy Duncan, Cassie Withers and Ben Kent have all been involved in developing the prize packs which will include a coolamon, scarf and certificate. Oxley High School's Girls Academy girls also got creative and have donated some Aboriginal patterned earrings to go towards the award packages.

The final packages look great and are sure to delight their participants.

The Tamworth NAIDOC Awards are expected to be held as part of the NAIDOC Family Fun Day on Friday 13 July. Watch out for more announcements closer to the time.

The Tamworth Opportunity Hub coordinates and matches training and career opportunities with Aboriginal students, providing incentives to finish school and transition into sustainable jobs. 

Tamworth Opportunity Hub can be contacted at:
Address: 123 Marius Street, TAMWORTH NSW 2340
Phone: (02) 6766 9028; Fax: (02) 6766 9036
Facebook: Opportunity Hub Tamworth or via the link below

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