Bronte Public Raises Funds to Return FavourStudents, parents and teachers at Bronte Public School are raising $25,000 for students from Yipirinya School in Alice Springs to visit Sydney on a cultural exchange later this month.
The partnership began with 16 year six students from Bronte visit- ing Alice Springs back in June this year. Accompanied by parents and teachers, they stayed on the school grounds, ate breakfast with the students every morning and participated in various school classes. They also visited tourist attractions in the area like the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air. The parents also got stuck in whilst the kids were in class, helping to set up a kitchen for future cooking classes and building equipment for the playground.
The initial trip was fully funded by the Bronte students themselves, but in order to afford the Yipirinya School students the same experience, they need to raise some money. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried flying from Sydney to Alice Springs, but it ain’t cheap!
The $25,000 raised by Bronte Public School will cover flights, accommodation and activities for 12 students and four teachers to visit Sydney for five full days. During their visit, the Yipirinya students will be staying at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern.
Activities will include exploring Bronte Gully and the coastal walk, visiting Luna Park, a surf lesson, a ferry trip to Taronga Zoo and fish and chips at Bondi. A particular highlight will be a training session with the Sydney Swans, which was arranged after the organisers learned how much the Yipirinya students love AFL earlier this year.
Will Foster, a parent who participated in the first trip to Alice Springs, told The Beast how much the Bronte contingent had gained from their trip to the ‘Red Centre’.
“I feel like the trip has expanded the horizons of the students, parents and teachers who attended, and very much hope that the same benefits come to the Yipirinya kids when they travel to Sydney in November,” he said.
“I hope my daughter has learned that being an Australian is about welcoming diversity and learning about other cultures, and all helping each other to live together in different ways.”
Mr Foster’s daughter, Sophie, echoed her father’s sentiments.
“I loved helping out around the school and hanging out with the students,” she said.
“I hope that when they come here, we can show them the beach, the city, all the things they wouldn’t have seen before. I really hope they have as good a time here as we had in Alice Springs.”
Katrina Black, a teacher at Bronte Public School who coordinates the program, told us that the school has developed a strong relationship with a sister-school in Thailand over the last few years, but she felt that it was extremely important for them to also establish a mutually beneficial connection with an Aboriginal school so that students could experience, appreciate and respect Aboriginal culture.
“A highlight (of our trip) for me was at our regular evening reflections where our students really started to verbalise their respect for Aboriginal culture, community and connection to the land, to understand their country from a different point of view,” she said.
Parents, teachers and students alike have been supportive and enthusiastic about fundraising for the Yipirinya students’ visit. As The Beast went to press, the project’s GoFundMe site had already raised just shy of $17,000.
But with the students scheduled to arrive on November 14 and $8,000 left to raise, they could still use a little help from the community. So if you’ve got a few dollars to spare or think you can sacrifice the cost of your avo toast and morning coffee for a good cause, visit https://au.gofundme.com/brontetoyipirinya and donate now.