Girls’ program strikes gold

Headshot of Jakeb Waddell
Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser

Kira Fong has seized a golden opportunity and will expand her Kimberley and Pilbara Girl programs to the Goldfields next month.

Each of the programs aim to inspire young indigenous women between the ages of 16 and 25 to strive for greatness, all while improving their confidence and tackling relevant social issues.

With the same structure as the Kimberley Girl and Pilbara Girl programs, the Goldfields version will hold a week of workshops in both Leonora and Kalgoorlie-Boulder, with heats at the end of each week deciding which girls will go through to the final.

A week of finals workshops will then run, before culminating in a fashion show where the Goldfields Girl will be crowned.

Goolarri Media chief operations officer Kira Fong founded the program in the Kimberley in 2004 and jumped on the chance to expand it when former Member for Kalgoorlie Wendy Duncan advised her of the need for it in the Goldfields community.

Ms Fong said expanding the program meant more young indigenous women around the State could benefit from it.

“Each year, you can see the change each of the girls go through,” she said.

“The most significant thing that we notice is the girls’ confidence. It really develops their self-esteem and instils in their mind that they can aim high, dream big and achieve anything in life.

“At the same time, the workshops tackle issues that the girls experience in their every day lives, so by expanding to the Goldfields we are helping even more young women.”

Ms Duncan became a strong supporter of the Kimberley Girl program when working as the Member for Mining and Pastoral and was blown away by the ongoing benefit that the program had for indigenous women.

“The Goldfields has been through some difficult times recently with a very negative focus on anti-social behaviour and family difficulties,” she said.

“We need strong input and active involvement of Aboriginal people if we are to have any hope of sorting out some of our social problems.

“I have been a vocal advocate for Goldfields Girl to be established because I know it produces young people with resilience and the ability to lead.”

One facilitator for the program in the Goldfields will be Kartika Eades, who participated in the Kimberley Girl program in 2005 and said it was beneficial for her development as a young woman.

“Even though the program was small (in 2005), it was enough for me to gain that drive of confidence that I was lacking,” she said.

“Being a facilitator is a very rewarding role. I’m most looking forward to seeing the girls flourish and how the community will embrace the program.

“I want the girls to see their self-worth and have the confidence to pursue their goals and dreams, stand tall in their community and be role models for the next generations.”

The Goldfields Girl program begins next month, with Kimberley Girl starting on September 25, and Ms Duncan encouraged indigenous women in each of the regions to apply.

“One of the greatest lessons I have learnt from Kimberley Girl is that everyone is beautiful if they are given the chance to shine,” she said.

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