The Boab Network recognises the value of education to help individuals reach their potential. There is much evidence that links education to good health outcomes and better job opportunities. The Boab Network particularly recognises the role of early childhood education, drawing on the work of Economist and Nobel Laureat James Heckman on the high return from early parenting and learning from 0-3 years of age.
“You can see a difference in the kids with the involvement of the Boab Network.” – Steve Austin (Mowanjum CEO)
“I had a few ideas. I wanted to engage the kids with music and keep them out of trouble and stuff… When we first met the Boab Network, we told them what we wanted to achieve, what we wanted to become in our Band. I think they really helped us achieve our goal.” – Kallem Mungulu
2Employment and training opportunities
Employment is a key factor for Mowanjum in securing its economic independence. In remote areas, a key aspect of employment is demand and the creation of job opportunities to assist Mowanjum has been a driving force behind the Boab Network’s work. The organisation has helped the community in creating jobs through the development of its Pastoral Station, the Op-shop and made contributions to other ventures that the community has undertaken which have secured employment for Mowanjum people.
Mowanjum aims to become a self-sustaining Aboriginal Community that is not reliant on government funding. The Boab Network recognises the importance of good governance and provides support to the community in ensuring good governance practices and support.
“There are many issues that we have to face and we have to do these alone. But the support we have from the Boab Network has helped. They never came in to do this work for us but gave us support and strength to do it for ourselves.” – Leah Umbagai
Helping the oldest living culture on earth survive and adapt is an objective of the Boab Network. Recognition of culture, through art, dance, song, spirituality, language and visits to their ancestral lands is important for building self esteem and helping the young people contribute to our multicultural community. The Mowanjum people place great value on their ancestors and land with its sacred sites and rock art.
“The Boab Network had the thing that took our people back to their country.” – Donny Woolagoodja
Ross Gobby summed up the Boab Network’s aims as “relationships, relationships, relationships”. The Boab Network recognises the importance of developing meaningful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Two-way learning is an essential part of developing authentic relationships.
“Aboriginal people have a complex culture to explain. – to sends kids off to school it is not enough. The Boab Network have been a great help. It has been a two way learning.” – Kirsty Burgu
“The Boab Network has given my community so much support, so much guidance. I don’t know how to thank them enough for what they have given.” – Leah Umbagai