Learning for life

StarKids is empowering parents in a remote Aboriginal community.

Kupungarri is about 300 kilometres northeast of Derby in Western Australia. It’s one of three Ngarinyin communities partnering with World Vision on early childhood and youth development in the West Kimberley.

It’s also where early childhood activities like playgroups are designed and developed, with local community members advising on culturally tailored early learning activities, including bush trips with Elders and bi-lingual literacy.

World Vision Project Manager Jillian Hunter said that the role of parents in designing these early childhood activities is crucial to creating long-term change in Aboriginal communities.

“If the community isn’t properly engaged and driving their own development, then the project is set-up to fail,” Jillian added.

With StarKids’ support, World Vision began working with the Kupungarri community and the Wananami School early last year. Since then it has run community health workshops, established a community reference group and is now laying the groundwork for a locally-run playgroup.

Jillian said that although these activities are focused on early childhood development, they have a positive flow-on effect to the entire community.

“After one of the workshops I saw one of the mothers at a barbeque were hosting and she was wearing a beautiful long dress; she seemed to be glowing. When we asked her what the special occasion was she replied, ‘After today I felt empowered and motivated, I felt proud of what we were doing for the community and it made me feel more confident in myself’,”  she explained.

Thanks to donations from Jetstar customers just like you, StarKids supports five projects partnering with Indigenous Australians on community-building initiatives like early childhood development and youth leadership programs.


Image: Youngsters from Kupungarri cool down in the summer heat.