Bling Girls Bright Future

Posted on: Tuesday, 13 September 2016 at 10:21:33 AM

Media Release September 13, 2016


Geraldton Regional Medical Aboriginal Service (GRAMS) Maga Barndi Unit seen a dramatic increase in school attendance for a group of high school students by involving them in the BLING girls group.

The Balancing Learning Interest Engaging Girls, or BLING, comprises a group of lower high school students who come together to learn about, and enjoy the benefits of, exercise, friendships and healthy lifestyles.

The group started in 2014 with just Year 8 students but, thanks to its popularity, the next year it went onto to also include Year 7 students and this year it increased again to cover Years 7, 8 and 9.

Since being part of the group, and the hard work put in by their mentors to improve confidence and provide a safe place the girls’, school attendance has skyrocketed from 18 percent attendance to more than 80 percent. And several participants have received A’s on their school reports. Rewards like going away on fun and educational camping trips are also a great reward.

For the past 12 months the GRAMS Maga Barndi Unit (Social Services) has worked with the BLING girls.

As well as encouraging their participation in dance and exercise, the team educates the students on the destructive effects of drugs, alcohol and smoking and their impact on health, communities and families.

They inform the students of available services in town and GRAMS’ Core of Life program, which educates about hygiene, STIs and safe sex.

Together the close-knit group has enjoyed two camps - sandboarding and snorkelling in Jurien Bay and abseiling and horse riding in Kalbarri.

The girls participate in boxercise classes and this year teamed with West Coast Dance to learn dance routines for a NAIDOC dance performance. They took to the task with gusto, learning the routine in five weeks and feverishly practising their moves in preparation for a highly popular performance.

In the process they are not only learning to live healthy lives, but forming solid friendships and embarking on positive lifestyles.

"I’m so proud of this group of girls and all that they have achieved," GRAMS Maga Barndi Unit, Youth Project Officer Danielle Sutton said.

"They’ve been standout performers at several NAIDOC events, and also really impressed by staying around after their performances to help out with the events including pack away and clean up.

"Their enthusiasm won the hearts of the elders at the GRAMS Elders NAIDOC lunch in particular.

"It’s amazing the results we can see by bringing young people together, providing activities they enjoy then standing back and watching them blossom.

"For these girls the future has never look brighter – I couldn’t be happier for them."


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: For more information, please contact GRAMS CEO Deborah Woods on 9956 6555.

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