The child nutrition team began in 1996 with the mandate of teaching young mothers how to cook…why then did the team begin running a massive career conference? At the time, new research indicated that even 1 extra year of schooling for young women, had a 3 fold effect on the health outcomes of their children. This, and seeing there were no big events for young women in communities …an idea was born to create an event that would encourage girls to stay in school and look at careers opportunities for themselves.
The first conference was really nerve wracking, we were never sure if anyone was going to show up…but in the evening before the conference dust heralded bus and car loads of young women arriving. 250 eager young women arrived.
Kungka Career Conference recruited high profile successful Aboriginal women to tell their story and share their skills. Some were successful health workers and some were Aboriginal leaders like Christine Anu and Evonne Goolagong.
Senior women attended the camps for authority and to support the young women, some of whom were inspired to continue their support of young people by becoming teachers and mentors.
Over 12 Kungka Career Conferences have been run and we can now look back and see how many of these young women have grown into community leaders and some taking flight with successful careers.