Beyond the Textbook

Connecting to culture with support from StarKids and World Vision

Through World Vision’s Young Mob Program, First Nations students can increase their knowledge and deepen their understanding of their culture. This has enabled them to improve their confidence, personal growth and ongoing development for life, education and work.

Mark is a proud Gamilaroi and Ngemba man. He is also a facilitator in the Young Mob Program, having begun as a participant a few years back.

Facilitators like Mark go out to schools and run a ten-week program that helps engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in topics that can help them positively relate to the world around them. These topics can include identity, culture, strong spirit, social justice and public speaking.

Mark also brings young First Nations leaders in the Young Mob program on camps out to the bush, where they can experience their own land and culture first-hand.

“We’ve had so many kids come through our program who started off shy or getting in trouble at school,” Mark says. “But this program gives you an attitude towards life, it opens you up not only to becoming a leader and learning about public speaking, but also opens you up to your culture as well”.

Janaya, pictured with a painting she made on a recent Young Mob cultural exchange trip to Uluru, is a proud young Bundjalung woman from Sydney. “Being Indigenous is just the best thing ever, we are the oldest living culture on Earth and after what we’ve been through and what we’ve done it’s just amazing”.

Jordan, 14, another Young Mob participant benefitted from his experience.

“Being Indigenous is something to be proud of. Young Mob has empowered me to teach my language in schools. It’s helped everyone in the program, from being loud and rude to being respectful, keen, excited, a complete turnaround. It’s the cultural connection that helps. It’s boosted my confidence and pride of my culture and identity.” 

For many First Nations young people like Janaya and Jordan, having a place to learn about their cultures is important, as schools and families are often unable to provide this. The Young Mob program provides a special place for this important learning to happen.

Your change means helping to make a change! Consider donating to StarKids using change from your inflight purchases or any loose change you have at the end of your flight. We also accept debit/credit cards. Ask your cabin crew for assistance.

Photo credit: World Vision Australia Words: Mark Braby