2019 has been another big year for the Watarrka Foundation, with a range of projects being completed in the community and the new school classroom officially opened!
We wouldn’t have been able to achieve such fantastic results without the ongoing support of our donors and community of volunteers, so thank you to everyone who has helped us throughout the year.
After months of fundraising and organisation, we were excited to celebrate the opening of the secondary classroom at Watarrka Primary School on the 9th of March, 2019. The classroom provides a vital opportunity for the local children to continue their schooling on country, living with their families up until year 10. It has already been beneficial to 5 students of Watarrka this year, who would have otherwise finished their education early.Paul Jensen, Chairman of the Watarrka Foundation stated:
The 2019 Sports & Storytelling festival ran from Wednesday 31st of July to Friday 2nd of August and included sports, drama, dancing, music, cooking and night time activities. This marks the 9th annual festival and has become a milestone for children within the region who look forward to the event all year.
The theme of this year’s Sports and Storytelling festival was “It’s COOL to go to SCHOOL!”. The festival has continued to pursue education at the forefront of their mission, following on from the work that the Watarrka Foundation has completed.
This year, there were 35 children in attendance from 3 different local schools; Watarrka Primary School, Areyonga Primary School and Haasts Bluff School. The partnering organisations for our 2019 festival were Dentons, Westpac, Poetry in Action, CareerTrackers, The Source Bulk Foods, NTAFL, Remote Education tours and the Watarrka Foundation.
Thanks to the generous support from Braemar College and Remote Tours, the children of Watarrka are now enjoying their new, safe and functional basketball court! The project, completed in October 2019, took a lot of organising and support from a range of community groups, and 3 days of hard work levelling and paving the court.
A huge thank you to Braemar College for their ongoing support, and for their most recent assistance with building the new basketball court for the Watarrka children to enjoy.
Our most recent project has had a big impact on the students focus and engagement within the classroom. With average temperatures in the Watarrka region reaching 35 – 40 degrees, opening windows and blowing fans isn’t quite enough for a comfortable learning environment.
Thanks to David Hewitt, The Moorabbin Rotary Club and Mentone Grammar, we were able to successfully install air conditioning units to the school classroom in November 2019, which has since increased school attendance.
Throughout 2019 we’ve had support from various schools, corporate organisations, and individuals who have donated money and time. It’s been an amazing experience witnessing the life-changing impacts these donations have on the local community within Watarrka.
A sincere thank you to everyone involved in bringing our 2019 projects to life. We’re looking forward to a big 2020 with even more projects and positive changes in the pipeline.