These grants are administered by ABM in consultation with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council (NATSIAC), who select the projects to be funded.
A 2020 Mission Grant provided $12,742 to Moorditj Noongar Community College (MNCC), located in Western Australia. The College, whose enrolment is 100% Indigenous, used the funds in conjunction with their own funding streams to enable more time in the school by their school chaplain (three days per week of school chaplaincy during 2020 instead of the two days they could previously fund). There are 128 students enrolled at the College, and numbers are growing. The college also had a more than 80% attendance rate during 2020, despite the disruptions of COVID-19.
The College Principal, Pete Freeman, notes: “MNCC engages in an ongoing improvement process to ensure that the social, physical and emotional needs of our students and community are addressed. Our approach to teaching and learning is based on a set of beliefs that have been agreed on by staff and the school community. They also adhere to and embrace the Western Australian Curriculum. Our primary goal is to close the gap for our Indigenous students and allow them to grow.”
The College’s students come from all over Western Australia. 94% of the children also come from the bottom quarter on the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage.
Mr Freeman adds, “The role of Chaplain at Moorditj Noongar Community College is a complex one. Our Chaplain Sally and service dog Bear are a key part of our social program. Sally will support individual students, classes and run whole school programs. The additional day in 2020 has allowed her to run additional programs. These have included Horse Bonding, RUOk Day, Harmony Day, Rock and Water Programs and even a lunchtime Lego group. Sally works as a mentor, friend, a sounding board or just a helping hand. Her role is ever changing and very important to the mental health approach at Moorditj Noongar Community College.”
The funding from ABM enabled the school to better plan and consolidate their resources so that sufficient funding was made available for a three-day-a-week program from 2021 and into the future.
Mr Freeman says: “I would like to conclude by thanking the Anglican Board of Mission for their generous donation to our school”.
ABM would like to thank all its generous supporters for their kind donations to this project which enabled this outcome to be achieved. Thanks to you, more than 128 Indigenous children in a remote school have continued access to the vital services of their school chaplain. Yanga! *
*Yanga – Noongar word for thank you.