(Horses doing healing)
Mary Mackillop Today is working in partnership with the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI) to support the development and implementation of the Yawardani Jan-ga program in the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Designed and implemented by Aboriginal community members in the Kimberley region, Yawardani Jan-ga aims to improve education outcomes by addressing the social and emotional wellbeing barriers to education faced by young Aboriginal People, aged 6-25 years, in this region. This unique program uses evidence based Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) to meet the individual needs of participants so they can reengage and thrive in their education.
First Nations people comprise over 40% of the population in the Kimberley and a significant number of these are youth. Disengagement from education because of foundational social and emotional wellbeing barriers is a significant concern amongst community members.
Yawardani Jan-ga was specifically created within this context to address the social and emotional wellbeing of young Aboriginal Australians through a program owned, developed and facilitated by community members. The program uniquely addresses the needs of young Aboriginal people, who have disengaged, but also those at a leadership level who face significant pressure and who may have also experienced trauma. By addressing these social and emotional wellbeing areas young Aboriginal Australians are supported to engage in their learning and thrive.