The Worawa version of a Debutante Ball may, at first glance look like any other. However, there are many essential differences. Our students spend time living together and sharing deeply about what it is to be a young Aboriginal women in today’s Australia.
From considering their futures, to discussing their past – Worawa students prepare quite holistically for the culminating event, the Debutante Ball. That is not to say that they don’t enjoy the dance and deportment lessons in preparation for the event itself.
The girls had a great time learning to dance and enjoying meeting new friends. We thank our wonderful partners, Mount Evelyn Christian School and Melbourne Grammar School for accompanying our students for this event. It was clear that the boys also enjoyed themselves and looked every bit the accomplished partners to the beautiful Debutantes.
The event was generously and graciously sponsored by the Yarra Valley Lodge. The venue was tastefully dressed in black and silver; tables decked with silvery gum leaves and tea-lights.
The girls were presented to the esteemed Elders, who encouraged them with their presence and words.
The audience were skillfully entertained by traditional dancers and contemporary dancers, Majikhony Honey. Worawa students from Elcho Island performed the beautifully expressive traditional dance ‘North Wind’. Our compere for the evening was the well-known, Leila Gurruwiwi.
Two of the Debutantes, Andrea Farrow and Alliyanna Tipiloura, spoke on behalf of their friends about their interesting and successful journeys at Worawa and about the future dreams. Our Executive Director responded to the evening, encouraging the girls to strive to make their dreams a reality and confirming the importance of our partners.
Debutante Dreaming is not the end of a program, or even the beginning of a new life. It is the recognition of our student’s effort, readiness and intention to live powerful, positive lives. Here are the speeches of our students.