Humanitarian student helps introduce Indigenous children to school

19-Jun-2013

CDU Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies student Jessie Bonson
CDU Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies student Jessie Bonson chose the remote Northern Territory community of Wadeye as the location of her 70-day placement

A Charles Darwin University student is making a difference to the lives of some of the youngest residents in a remote Northern Territory community.

Choosing to do her 70-day humanitarian placement at Wadeye as part of her Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies, Jessie Bonson assisted in the delivery of the NT Government’s “Families as First Teachers” program in the community.

Jessie, who traces part of her Indigenous heritage to the Katherine region of the Northern Territory, said working closely with Indigenous elders was vital in building strong relationships between the community and schools.

“Each weekday we picked parents and their children up from their homes and transported them to school for a half-day of activities,” Jessie said.

“We provided the children and their parents with breakfast and lunch, and used play-based activities to develop early childhood learning, parenting skills, and health, hygiene and nutrition knowledge.

“It was fantastic to see how much the parents enjoyed bringing their children to school. We started with four children and after two weeks, 16 parents were bringing their children along.

“The most rewarding part of the work was when the kids remembered your name, and were happy to see you and to be at school.”