Souths Cares Liverpool Opportunity Hub continues to go from strength to strength, with the program capping off a huge Term 2 last week.
Three new schools joined the Opportunity Hub during the term including Good Samaritan Catholic College, Liverpool Girls High School and Heckenberg Public School. Students from these schools are now receiving a wide range of additional support from the Hub staff such as weekly cultural workshops, academic support and guidance with their tertiary education, training and employment pathways.
With the addition of these three new schools, the Opportunity Hub Program is now being delivered at 23 schools throughout the Liverpool LGA, with the holistic education, employment and cultural support initiative being met with strong demand from the local community.
The jam-packed Term 2 schedule saw the Opportunity Hub team facilitate industry visits to the William Inglis Hotel, Miller TAFE and an interactive Western Sydney Airport Career Experience Day. These industry visits ensured program participants were exposed to diverse range of employment pathways including transport, logistics, retail, aviation, law enforcement, hospitality, childcare, carpentry and plumbing – to name just a few!
National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week were held during May, with the Opportunity Hub utilizing these significant cultural events to create a collaborative art project which spanned 11 schools from within the Liverpool LGA. Students incorporated this year’s Reconciliation Week theme “More than a Word, Reconciliation takes Action” and the National NAIDOC theme “Heal Country” within the designs of their artwork.
The art project included 20 colourful canvasses which are now displayed within the Whitlam Centre. Kelly Pulevaka, Program Coordinator of the Liverpool Opportunity Hub explained the art project was one of many highlights for the program participants during Term 2.
“All participating students were excited to create their artworks and highlight the important issues which are impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. The artworks will be on permanent display in the Whitlam Centre, showcasing our student’s creativity and talent for many years to come”, Ms Pulevaka stated.
Tranaya Bell is the Program Support Officer for the Liverpool Opportunity Hub and co-facilitated the art workshops with the other members of Hub team. She explained the project had a profound impact on the students.
“The students engaged really well throughout the workshops and they have learnt a lot about Aboriginal symbols and their meanings. It is always a pleasure to be able to share these experiences with our students and teach them more about their culture”, Ms Bell said.
Throughout Term 2 students who were achieving their goals were rewarded with a range of exciting activities and events, with two students from the Liverpool Opportunity Hub co-designing the Rabbitohs 2021 NRL Indigenous jersey with other participants from Souths Cares mentoring programs under the guidance of renowned Aboriginal artist Uncle Joe Walker.
Rabbitohs Indigenous Jersey 2021
Indigenous Round celebrations included a special on-field presentation for the students where they were presented with their own 2021 Indigenous jersey and other merchandise from South Sydney Rabbitohs Indigenous player Troy Dargan, forming the guard of honour to welcome the players onto the field, delivering the NRL match-day ball for kick off, letting off Red, Black, and Yellow smoke in the middle of Stadium Australia and showcasing the making of the 2021 Indigenous jersey video on the big screen before the game.
Students from the Liverpool Opportunity Hub were also treated to a VIP matchday experience at the Rabbitohs Round 9 NRL game in recognition for their hard work and dedication in achieving their goals.
As the term came to an end, Liverpool’s Local Aboriginal Medical Centre Marumali Health Services hosted their annual Elders Olympics at The Whitlam Leisure Centre. The Aboriginal Elders enjoyed a range of competitive games, delicious food and lots of laughs. Students from Ashcroft High School and Miller Technology High School volunteered their time and did an amazing job supporting the community event.
Whilst the recent ‘Stay at Home Public Health Order’ issued by the NSW Government has limited the Hub’s school holiday activities, the team is continuing to support student’s health and wellbeing during challenging times.