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Report from Associate Member Marlene Wall on "Koori Parents as Mentors Program" Meeting held 23rd February 2010 at Little Yuin Family Centre, Wallaga Lake.  This program is being funded by PACE and involves the staff of Narooma High School and parents of indigenous students. 
Hello Everyone,
I was representing Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust at yesterday's PACE meeting so on behalf of the Trust - and myself - I'd like to say a big congratulations and thanks to all involved in planning, funding and working with PACE.
Having been involved with teaching since 1954 I've seen many changes as you can imagine and personally, your initiatives are certainly the most welcome I've ever experienced.
Indigenous disadvantage is the most important social justice issue Australia faces and it's wonderful to see positive, practical and far-reaching education improvements and changes being made.
To observe the professional co-operation, discussion, commitment, exchange of views, evaluation of strategies etc. etc. between blackfellas and whitefellas was inspiring and exhilarating  to share.
I know there's still a long way to go - eg. Aboriginal teachers, but it's great to see this progress.
Shirley and Tracey - remember the homework centre in the (then) new hall that stumbled and fell over around 1995 ? What work and perseverance you've shown, since then and before then. Big praise to all that's happening now.
What an achievement this is so far - and getting stronger. 
Congrats and thanks again,
Marlene Wall
Wallaga Lake
Ass. Member, Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust


Little Yuin Aboriginal Pre-school rises to top the State

25 Nov, 2009 03:23 PM

LITTLE Yuin Aboriginal pre-school and family centre has won an award in the NSW Premier’s 2009 Excellence Awards Strong Communities category – Family Support and Community Assistance.

Wallaga Lake elders Shirley and Tracey Foster travelled to Sydney to receive the award on Monday night last week.

The award recognises leadership in Aboriginal communities by individuals or organisations demonstrating excellence in delivering services to the community.

The awards provide the opportunity for both communities and the NSW Government to recognise the tireless effort being made by Aboriginal people across the State.

The management committee and staff at Little Yuin have shown great dedication and commitment to the children and families using the pre-school and the community members through family centre community development activities.

The management committee has shown leadership and determination in a voluntary capacity for over 20 years to keep the preschool operational.

During 2005 everything wasn’t working and preschool was closed down and the funding cut.

The management committee members Shirley Foster, Deanna & Ken Campbell, Irene Leon, Pam Flanders, Tracey Foster, Kerry Parsons, Theressa Tighe and Amanda Tighe supported by staff Lea Sutherland and Gabrielle Powell have shown their commitment to provide quality service.

“As a group they have demonstrated exceptional strength and willingness to assist make changes to the organisation and therefore make a difference to the lives of children and families at Wallaga Lake Aboriginal community,” Ms Powell said. “They believed that the preschool could be run properly and were committed to getting it back on track and open for the children and families.”

In 2007, Little Yuin Aboriginal Preschool received funding from the IMB Community Fund to focus on developing skills in the management committee through training and education in governance and management.

The committee members have developed skills in management, bookkeeping and administration and successfully completed Certificate IV in Governance in Canberra run by ORAC.

This was a key step to ensuring good governance and understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

In 2008, the preschool was extended to incorporate a Family Centre. It was officially opened by Linda Burney MP in April 2009.

Since then there have been a wide range of programs available to the community including Job Australia Services, Pre-apprenticeship program, School holiday activities, Yarn Ups, art/pottery group, Education Centre Against Violence Weaving The Net, health and legal service regularly visit.

LITTLE YUIN AWARD: Aboriginal Affairs NSW chief executive Jody Broun, Little Yuin Pre-School chairperson Tracy Foster, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon. Paul Lynch MP, Little Yuin Pre-School treasurer Auntie Shirley Foster and Aboriginal Affairs NSW regional manager Adrian Meredith.

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