The approach at Worawa is to strengthen the identity and self-esteem of young women as Indigenous Australians so that they are able to bridge both worlds and take their place as leaders within the Indigenous community and Australian society. Along with the core academic subjects, young women are given a range of opportunities to develop skills and knowledge in a program of Pathways to Womanhood. The program lays the foundation for young women to take their place as future leaders.
The objectives of this program are for the young women at Worawa to:
- Understand the issues confronting young women as they transition from adolescence to young adulthood
- Establish individual goals to be achieved through their participation in the program
- Increase their self-esteem and self-confidence to make this transition and confront these challenges
- Improve their knowledge and practice of healthy lifestyles and health-promoting behaviours
- Increase their social skills and ability to relate to a wide range of people in social settings
- Gain skills in self-care and personal presentation
- Gain skills in leadership and organisation of events
- Social interaction
- Pride in Aboriginal identity
- Communication, Trust, Hope.
The approach is one of action learning and reflection, based on individual development plans where the girls establish clear goals they wish to achieve as part of their Pathway to Womanhood. An event is held at the end of the program to celebrate the students’ completion of the program and acknowledge the important steps that have been taken toward adulthood and ability to walk with confidence in both the Aboriginal and Western world. These types of rights to passage have been practised for many thousands of years and are recognised as approaches to strengthening girls for their journey to womanhood.