Reconnecting through Culture

A group of Year 9 Thuringowa Stars showing signs of disengagement were taken on a ‘reconnection’ camp focusing on personal and cultural identity and the importance of getting a good education.

The camp took place at Mungalla Station (Nywaigi Country), east of Ingham in Queensland, ​which is operated by Traditional Owner, Jacob Cassady.

The planning of the camp was both challenging and emotional because of ​the strong spiritual connection ​to one of our Stars Mentors and proud Warrgamay woman, May Kabay.

It was a moving experience for both students and Mentors and showed just how important it is to pass on the history of places like​ Mungalla Station and teach young people about their culture.

Our Stars developed a strong ‘sisterhood’ as together they discovered more about the history of the place, learnt traditional language from Warrgamay Elders, and took part in an emotional yarning circle ​with special guests Ingham’s Police Liaison Officer, Terry Russell, Stars Coordinator, Rebecca Healey, and Thuringowa State High School teacher, Brianna Clancy.

After the yarning circle, the girls enjoyed a BBQ with meat supplied by local butcher Frank Galipo, of Galipo’s Meats in Ingham. Frank generously donated $150 worth of meat after hearing about the work of Stars Foundation. Thank you, Frank!

The camp was a wonderful way for the students to re-engage and they all left the camp with a deeper understanding of culture and the importance of having a positive mindset and getting a good education.

We would like to acknowledge the Traditional owner groups – Warrgamay and Nywaigi – for welcoming us to their Country. In particular, Warrgamay Traditional owners Soraya Whelan, Josie Barrett, Trisha George, Keisha George, Clarence Wyles and Fay Cashmere, and Nywaigi Traditional owners, Jacob and Buddy Cassady.