Fostering Talent in Yanchep
Yanchep Police have been helping to facilitate opportunities for a local Aboriginal boy’s dance group to perform.
The group is made up of students from Yanchep Secondary College and surrounding primary schools.
Two of the boy’s fathers volunteer their time to lead the dancers and their performances are both attracting other l boys to join and providing access to positive role models within the wider community.
Yanchep OIC Senior Sergeant Martin Hopkins said by identifying opportunities for the boys to showcase their culture they remain more engaged at school, leading to better attendance and improved behaviour.
“The most recent performance was supported by Yanchep Police, DFES, Yanchep Secondary College and the City of Wanneroo,” he said. “Kalbarri Park in Yanchep has cultural significance to the local Aboriginal community so Mr Derek Nannup performed a smoking ceremony at this location to bless the dance group, attending community members and DFES volunteers in preparation for the upcoming fire season.”
DFES officers conducted a controlled burn of an area of bush to demonstrate why flora and fauna traditionally needed fire for regeneration and provided education around the dangers of bushfires to the students.
Cadets from the WA Police Aboriginal Cadet Program and DFES Aboriginal Cadet Traineeship were on hand to explain pathways into employment to the dance group members.
S/Sgt Hopkins said the dance group is the first of its kind in the Yanchep area and interest in the project is spreading quickly. “It has already created a more open, positive relationship with local police and we’re able to engage with young people in a meaningful way through the program,” he said.