The core focus of our programs in Aboriginal communities is to improve overall health and wellbeing, including social and emotional health as well as developing healthy habits for life. Our work supports the objectives of the Close the Gap campaign of improving health and wellbeing; working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to help them realise their potential.
We have been fortunate to have worked closely with communities in the Kimberley and the Northern Territory for over 10 years. This has been integral to creating long-term sustained change in communities experiencing high levels of disadvantage.
Our programs are developed in consultation with communities and schools. The understanding of local context and issues of importance enable us to create customised programs that support learning and development, increase parental involvement and focus on have movement and fun.
We work with early childhood educators (playgroup, kindergarten, early primary school) to increase child and family involvement and connection with early childhood education. Engagement in early education) is closely linked to reaching the developmental domains and improved school readiness.
Primary and secondary school students are also a focus; we work with educators in these settings to provide them with the skills and confidence to develop students’ physical, emotional and social wellbeing in what is a very challenging period of their lives.
The Bluearth program has been a revelation to the enhancement of student emotional and social wellbeing. Students have developed belonging and cohesion within their classes, which has been extended to other classes and students in the playground. This in turn has fostered a climate of happiness and general care for others. Bluearth really raises student self confidence and self esteem. Students are more willing to try new things and participate in learning experiences.
Michelle McKittrick, Principal, Kununurra District High School
Bluearth has been a godsend for Wualgi Primary School. It is a program that embodies inclusivity, how to be a team player, cooperation and most importantly, reflection. It encourages our students to embrace each other in a way that makes them appreciate who they are. As a teacher this is what I love to see – children who have something to offer that is not just muscle or speed! I have witnessed and been involved in many programs throughout my 17 years of teaching, but Bluearth is one of the most inclusive, holistic programs I have seen. I t reaches children on so many levels, not just fitness.
Penthea Carmichael, Teacher, Wulagi Primary School, Darwin