Our stories

Special weekly visit to Baryulgil Public School: “When mum comes back we’re going camping”

Every week our Clarence Valley RISE team makes a special trip.

They load up the car with activities and worksheets and drive about 75 km northwest of Grafton to visit Baryulgil, a small Koori community located in Bundjalung Country.

The purpose of this weekly trip? To spend some quality time running RISE sessions with children at Baryulgil Public School.

Through local outreach, we connected with the principal of Baryulgil Public School who was happy to facilitate our visits to support children at their school, which has about 12 students per year group.

We spend one day every week at the school providing mentoring sessions to three students, aged 5, 6 and 10 years old.

The sessions provide the opportunity for students to explore feelings about their parent’s incarceration, develop positive behaviour strategies, get help with school work and also have some fun!

Sessions also aim to increase school attendance, key to success at school.

Children with a parent in custody are 40% more likely to drop out of school, which can affect their entire lives.

Aru’s Story

During his first RISE session with us, Aru*, 6, engaged in some playdough play.

Playdough is not only a great tool for developing fine motor skills, much like squeezing a stress ball, manipulating playdough can be very calming and engaging.

During the session, Aru introduced himself and gave insight into his family by creating playdough models.

He shared lots about himself and his family and had so much fun he said he asked, “Can you come back tomorrow?”

This is exactly what we want to hear!

During another session, Aru painted a picture of his family and explained, “This is me, mum, and dad and my brother. When mum comes back from jail we’re going to go camping all together around the fire”.

Latest figures indicate that the Aboriginal imprisonment rate in NSW is nearly 10 times the non-Aboriginal imprisonment rate (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020).

Given there is this overrepresentation in prisons across Australia, building relationships with communities like Baryulgil’s is so important to ensure children and families know that there is support available for them.

We look forward to making this special trip every week and watching as the wonderful children grow their love of learning and flourish.

Please donate today to support kids like Aru.

Thank you to Thyne Reid Foundation and The Raymond E Purves Foundation for funding Clarence RISE.

Special weekly visit to Baryulgil Public School: “When mum comes back we’re going camping”

Other stories

Mums and bubs celebrate Diwali at Playgroup!

Mums and bubs celebrate Diwali at Playgroup!

At the Helana Jones Centre in Brisbane, our mums and bubs celebrated Diwali during playgroup with some Rangoli-inspired art! Diwali, also known as the ‘festival of light’, celebrates the triumph of light […]

RISE Together Day – Western Sydney

RISE Together Day – Western Sydney

Over the school holidays, SHINE for Kids teams across the country held special RISE Together Days for children in the program. The days were an opportunity for kids to meet others going […]

RISE Together Day – Kempsey

RISE Together Day – Kempsey

Over the school holidays, SHINE for Kids teams across the country held special RISE Together Days for children in the program. The days were an opportunity for kids to meet others going […]

RISE Together Day – Goulburn

RISE Together Day – Goulburn

Over the school holidays,  SHINE for Kids teams across the country held special RISE Together Days for children in the program. The days were an opportunity for kids to meet others going […]

And the winner is ….

And the winner is ….

During the week of the 15th-21st of May, we celebrated National Families Week with our children and families. One way of connecting with families was through a drawing competition and the winner would […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Debbie!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Debbie!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Dennis!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Dennis!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Stephanie!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Stephanie!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Andrew!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Andrew!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Helen!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Helen!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

A fresh start for mum Sierra

A fresh start for mum Sierra

Sierra has two daughters, aged 12 and 9, and when she went into custody a few years ago it was the first time in their lives they’d been separated from her. It […]

Sam’s year of kicking goals

Sam’s year of kicking goals

Sam, a young Aboriginal boy in the Stand As One mentoring program, was just 15 when he went into custody at Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre. Sam was the youngest person at […]

Christmas Magic with The Sixth Child

Christmas Magic with The Sixth Child

Wow. Our Victorian team have been blown away by the incredible donation of Christmas gifts from The Sixth Child and Creating the Magic! Last year, thanks to The Sixth Child, we gave […]

I feel like a father again

I feel like a father again

Jason was transferred to Clarence Correctional Centre as soon as it opened in July 2020. Unfortunately his wife is also incarcerated and her parents have custody of their two young children and […]