GEMINGA YARNING is a program recently brought to Pathfinders by Jusinta Collins, Armidale Youth Refuge employee. Jusinta developed the program after working with young people and hearing the stories of disconnection from culture and how that impacts on self-image and self-esteem. Geminga Yarning is created for young girls and explores Aboriginal identity and supports them in making cultural connections through art. During this journey, the girls build on their understanding of family, mob, lingo, storytelling, art styles and responsibility. The program has been running for over 4 years now and the feedback from schools and students is that it is very beneficial to the girls. Behaviour changes, they are more responsive to school and attendance increases.
Jusinta added “By being able to now facilitate Geminga Yarning whilst being employed by the Youth Refuge is a fantastic opportunity as I’m now someone they can know at the Refuge, giving young girls a connection that is familiar if they need to reach out for support.”
Jusinta has permission from the Anaiwan language Group to use GEMIGA, which means girls in the local lingo, as well as permission from community to facilitate an Aboriginal program off country. The images below show an example of the work completed by some of the girls in last weeks session.
The focus of this activity was on STORY. Jusinta explains, “As an Aboriginal person we have a story with a start, a middle and an end, what that story looks like how we can change it, how we can be happy with our journey and the experiences it gives us”. The program is facilitated at Minimbah Primary school on a Wednesday morning, ASC Wednesday and Friday afternoons, Uralla Central Thursday Morning and Guyra Central Thursday afternoon.
The most valuable asset within any organisation is the people and Pathfinders is very grateful for Jusinta bringing Geminga Yarning onboard. We look forward to many more images and stories to share from this wonderful program.