When Taminya was growing up, she had no role models to emphasise how important education and learning is. Her schooling was patchy and she missed out on opportunities.
Her daughter, Jenarose is in kindergarten at Gawura, a primary day school for Indigenous children in Sydney. Alongside a strong curriculum of literacy and numeracy, Indigenous culture is part of everyday life at Gawura. “I’ve always wanted my children to go to a school that respects, teaches and acknowledges Indigenous history and culture. Identity is everything in Aboriginal culture – if you don’t understand your identity, your family and language group, you really struggle,” Taminya said.
Although Jenarose is at the beginning of her Gawura education, Taminya has already noticed her daughter’s confidence grow. She attributes this to Jenarose being able to attend a school that respects, teaches and acknowledges Indigenous history and culture. “She already has a confidence about her, which I certainly never had growing up”.
“Gawura makes the kids feel equal – it makes us feel like black lives do matter”Taminya
Taminya hopes her children will finish Year 12 and have the chance to experience new opportunities. She believes they will grow up being proud of their heritage and be great role models for the kids in their community. “Gawura makes the kids feel equal – it makes us feel like black lives do matter,” she said.
Gawura is an independent, Indigenous primary school that sits within St Andrew’s Cathedral School in the heart of Sydney. Founded in 2007, Gawura was created to address the educational disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.
With the support of the Origin Foundation, Gawura is helping Indigenous children like Jenarose achieve in education.