TAFE Students Explore Cultural Identity Through Language and Art | Port Macquarie News


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SEVENTEEN Indigenous high school students from the Hastings participated in a TAFE NSW program teaching Indigenous language and cultural arts, reflecting this year’s reconciliation theme, More than a Word. Reconciliation takes action. For several years, TAFE NSW has provided short courses under the NSW Government’s Youth Engagement Strategy (YES) program to grade 9 and 10 students. This six-week pilot course is a first; both for the combination of offers and for the involvement of local Aboriginal high school teacher assistants. TAFE NSW teacher Angela Marr-Grogan explains that students are introduced to Gathang, the traditional language of Birrbay, Warrimay and Guringay, and participate in a hands-on cultural art project. “The program helps students develop a stronger sense of their cultural identity through language and art,” Ms. Marr-Grogan said. “It will also allow them to explore and pursue a learning path at TAFE NSW by enrolling in our cultural arts or language courses offered here in Port Macquarie and Wauchope.” TAFE NSW Career Paths Team Leader Leonie Nilson said the YES programs offered by TAFE NSW on the North Coast are having significant positive outcomes for students. “We have seen about 60 percent of students participating in YES programs in the North region continue to enroll in a vocational course or enroll in a TAFE NSW course,” said Ms. Nilson. A recent research report from the National Center for Research on Vocational Education found that these career development programs are essential for the employability of young people, especially for disadvantaged young people. Simon Walker, chief executive of the center, said career paths offer valuable mechanisms to tackle youth unemployment if implemented in tandem with holistic support services. Our journalists work hard to provide local and up-to-date information to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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