While online learning seems like a distant memory to most of us, spare a thought for the Areyonga students who have had to continue their education remotely to safeguard their community from the threat of COVID-19. This has proved to be difficult with limited and intermittent internet access.
Students have been rostered on to attend the Areyonga school to access some of the facilities. We are very grateful for the support of the Principal, Jonathon Fernando. At first students used a small office and were assisted by Mrs Fielke who helped them complete the work set by teachers in two hour blocks. Mrs Fielke is to be congratulated for her ingenuity in relaying and interpreting the expectations set by the teachers.
As the lockdown within the Areyonga community continued, we applied for some support through government agencies and were fortunate in gaining a secondary teacher towards the end of Term 2 to assist in teaching. As a result, students moved to a full classroom.
We have 10 to 12 students attending most days, with the addition of some of our past students who have chosen to return to learning while secondary school is happening in the community. This has been one of the positive spin-offs to occur during this difficult time.
Another positive is that we have had to tailor our education to meet the needs of the students while in community. The students have had the opportunity to learn from some of the important elders. They have done a bush hunting trip, a bush medicine trip and had the local elders come in to talk to us about Areyonga history. Each day we do some work with the younger classes where the older students have become role models for the younger ones.
The three Year 11 students are still tracking well and look like they will gain the necessary SACE requirements for this year. We have two in Year 10 and they will also gain some SACE credits this year.
There has also been a fantastic opportunity to build our relationship with Red Dust, a corporate organisation that supports the wellbeing of remote communities. Despite restrictions, because they are based in Victoria, having our students on the ground in the community has meant they can still run some programs with our older students and community members. Click here to watch a video created by Red Dust in the Areyonga community.
If things continue to improve we are hoping that the Areyonga students will return in Term 4. They were very disappointed when they found out they couldn’t return this term.
Kmart Gift Card Donations
Each week, the Areyonga students get rewarded for attending school in the form of Kmart Gift Cards. As a college, we would like to donate some gift cards to the Areyonga community to show our support for what they have been doing during remote learning. If you would like to donate, please make a monetary donation via EFT transfer to the account below by Friday 18 September. Any amounts will be gratefully accepted. We will then purchase a range of gift cards with the money donated which will be taken to Areyonga in Week 10 when Unity College staff next visit the community.
Account Name: Unity College Inc
BSB: 735 069
Account Number: 071 373
Reference: CASLAU with your surname
We thank you for your support of and care for our Areyonga students.