Broome high school students were in celebratory mode last week, after graduating from a leadership program which saw them develop skills for life and become role models for future students. Nine Year 10 students from Broome Senior High School graduated from the inaugural cultural leadership program last Wednesday with their Certificate I in Leadership. The students were selected to participate based on their consistent school attendance, commitment in class and positive attitudes. In order to fit in with the normal school curriculum, the students completed the program during several three-day blocks across the year. BSHS principal Matthew Burt said the program was designed to capture the leadership potential of Aboriginal students. “When you talk about their engagement, this gives them more of a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging and ownership over the delivery of a program they feel connected with,” he said. “Whereas sometimes with traditional classes, they can’t see the end in sight and they lose focus.” He said the students “loved it” and were proud of their achievements. “Ít gives them pride and encouragement that they’ve achieved something like this in Year 10 and they can go on to take to the next level in Year 11 and 12.” BSHS VET coordinator Brian Little said the students had achieved a Cert I in Leadership with Goolarri Media. “Students were based at Goolarri but went out and about in the community, they went to Gantheaume Beach to do photography, tried radio, met with (Kimberley MLA) Divina D’Anna and completed an equestrian therapy course,” he said. “Starting in Year 10, we want to continue the program through Years 11 and 12 and we want these students to continue to step up and be role models and points of reference for other students.” BSHS Aboriginal education coordinator Claire Stack said students were chosen based on good-standing and attendance at school. “They came from all different communities and the idea is to teach them to be good leaders and bring those skills and qualities back to their own communities, not just at school,” she said. Goolarri Media training manager Dr Elaine Rabbit said the students were taught in a style where “they don’t even know they are learning it.” “When you first meet them at the start of the year we don’t know each other and it takes a while for them to ease into it,” she said. “But they soon realise it is a safe space to come and because we are one step removed from the school, students really confide in us. “The success in it is when the students turn up again.” The students couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces as they stepped up to received their certificates last week, with the program set to welcome the next generation of leaders in 2022.