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News from Community Spirit Foundation - March 2023

It’s hard to believe it’s the end of Term 1 already, but Community Spirit Foundation has had a productive and enjoyable start to the year.

This term, our community-based teams have supported young people in our four partner communities to set intentions for the year ahead, think about their goals and identify what makes them deadly. Our ‘All about me’ workbooks have generated lots of great conversations that help build resilience and confidence in the young people we work with.

We’ve seen some terrific examples of this in action, including among four students from Palm Island who travelled to Cairns on our first Horizons camp of the year, and three young people who gained their Bronze Medallion and have been employed by the Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council to work at the Woorabinda pool.

Seeing these young people push themselves outside their comfort zone, gain confidence and achieve great things motivates the entire Community Spirit Foundation team every day.

I wish you all the best for a happy and safe Easter break.

Jade Colgan

CEO, Community Spirit Foundation


Sprints Passport program makes a splash in Woorabinda

Woorabinda locals Michael, Gerald and Rex have plunged headfirst into their new roles as lifeguards. They completed their Bronze Medallion with Royal Life Saving Australia and are now employed by the Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council to man the local pool. The trio was supported by the Sprints Passport program to apply for the positions and acquire necessary identification, working with children checks and bank accounts. They are three of 80 young people, who have taken part in the program. Michael said without support from Sprints Passport Program Coordinator Samana, he would have struggled to access the services and navigate the systems required to enter the world of work. “Samana and the CSF team helped me to get the IDs I needed, which took a few months to get sorted. Without them it would have been much harder,” he said. Samana said she had watched with pride as Michael, Gerald and Rex had become more confident. “They know our support is never going to stop and we see them become more confident in themselves and their future,” Samana said. We couldn’t be more proud. Community Spirit Foundation delivers Sprints Passport Program in Woorabinda in partnership with UNICEF Australia.


Broadening horizons in Cairns

The 2023 Horizons program has kicked off with four Palm Island students travelling to Cairns.

The students visited James Cook University, where they learnt about pathways for further education; travelled to Green Island for a lesson in marine biology and a cultural tour; heard about careers in marine tourism; snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef; and had a tour of the health labs and digital media studio at CQUniversity.

A highlight of the camp was a cultural tour of Mossman Gorge with a Kuku Yalanji guide.

“It was very fascinating and interesting learning about our First Nations people and their old ways and the ways of bush medicine and tucker,” said one student.

This was the first Horizons camp for 2023. The camps are designed to provide students with an opportunity to venture out of their communities, and step outside of their comfort zones, to see what opportunities are available to them after school.

Camps are scheduled for Melbourne, Yeppoon, Darwin, Brisbane, Kakadu and Sydney in the coming months.


Engaging in the classroom

This term, Community Spirit Foundation workbooks have focused on ‘All about me’.

Our community-based teams have worked with students from Prep to Year 12 and supported them to think about what makes them special, the ways they connect with their culture and community, and the power of a positive mindset.

Students have completed goal setting, self-portraiture, had discussions about self-confidence, yarned about feelings, identified their support network and much, much more.

We’re excited to get back into the classrooms in Term 2 and thank all our deadly students for engaging this year.


Sydney students stride into cultural art

Students from Pymble Ladies’ College, who won the 2022 Stride For Education challenge, swapped their walking shoes for paintbrushes recently.

The Year 11 students, who clocked 362 kilometres as part of Stride For Education, took part in a cultural art incursion, which was delivered by Wanyara.

Students heard about the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and its role in storytelling. They then created a piece using symbols and colours that they’d learnt about that will be displayed in the school.


"My name is Iesha and I'm from Aurukun but I'm currently living in Woorabinda.

Community Spirit Foundation has helped me with my licence and helped me to get a job. Before joining Community Spirit Foundation I didn't have any of my IDs also I was unemployed and having troubles about getting my resume done. But ever since I joined CSF they have helped with it all."

Iesha has taken part in Sprints Passport program in Woorabinda, which is delivered in partnership with UNICEF Australia.


Staff profile: Keri

Keri Morton has hit the ground running since stepping into Palm Island’s Senior Program Coordinator role earlier this year.

Keri’s focus for this term has been to increase community engagement to support the island’s young people.

CSF’s support extends beyond our work and has a ripple effect.

“Because we’re an isolated community, we’ve got to engage with students from within. We’ve got to find ways to keep them motivated and give them reasons to come to school every day,” Keri said.

“We want kids to know that it’s okay to be a little shy, but that confidence and resilience, and education, is key to a good life.

“At CSF we will always be there for the kids, and I hope they’re able to come to us anytime they want. We want them to know that they’re doing great work and that we’re proud of them.”

Phone: 03 9686 4813 Email:

PO Box 4335, Richmond East, VIC 3121


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