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Paige Strives for Greatness as Student Leader

Paige, a Year 12 student at The BUSY Schools – Salisbury, has big hopes for the school and intends to do everything in her power to ensure it remains a place where students feel they belong and have a say.

Prior to coming to The BUSY Schools, Paige did not feel supported with traditional schooling, so she sat down with her mother to discuss alternative options. That’s when she decided The BUSY Schools would be the best solution.

The BUSY Schools offers an alternative learning and supportive environment to re-engage students with a focus on vocational pathways while also completing their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

Since arriving at The BUSY Schools, Paige has achieved many outcomes including receiving The Principal Award for 2022, gaining a Certificate II in Hospitality, a Certificate III in Hospitality and Business, and becoming student leader for 2023.

“Coming here, I really want to do my teachers proud and strive for my best, especially with being student leader,” said Paige.

The responsibilities of Student Leader include having frequent meetings with the Campus Principal, continuously checking in with students and teachers about any concerns they may have or thoughts as to how they can help improve the school, and always making sure the students feel heard.

“I really want to make this school the best it can be because not only are the students deserving of a school that treats them well, but the staff also deserve the best working environment,” Paige stated.

With a passion for cooking, baking and all things hospitality, Paige is currently doing a school-based traineeship at KFC which is a great career pathway towards her ultimate dream of one day owning a café.

With all that she has achieved so far in her BUSY Schools experience, Paige has discovered that “I wasn’t failing school; school was failing me.”

Liza Page, Campus Principal at The BUSY Schools Salisbury campus, stated, “Mainstream schooling isn’t the only option out there. The BUSY Schools is a great alternative for students like Paige who have become disengaged from their learning.”

“Paige is an awesome leader, she stepped up straight away and is on the ball with everything.”

Find out more and watch what people say about The BUSY Schools. 

NAIDOC Week – What is it and why it matters

In the first week of July each year, National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

Each year has a theme and this year’s is ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up’. As a nation, it calls for us to continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and keep rallying around our mob, our Elders, our communities. Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together.

You can support and get to know your local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities through activities and events held across the country. These events aim to educate all of us of the country we stand on, the language, history and achievements of our First Nations people.

National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony

National NAIDOC Week’s premiere event is the National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony which showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence. Every year, a different focus city is chosen to host the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony.

Previous National NAIDOC Week Award Winners come from many different communities within Australia and have different backgrounds, however they are all part of NAIDOC history and share remarkable achievements.

One such winner was the Koori Mail, Australia’s only fully indigenous-owned and managed newspaper with a circulation of approximately 10,000 and an estimated readership across Australia of close to 100,000.

In its citation, the National NAIDOC Committee said that the Koori Mail is the only fully Indigenous-owned and managed newspaper in Australia. ‘Founded by a Walbunja businessman, Owen Carriage, the Koori Mail first went to print in May 1991. Published in both printed form and digitally each fortnight, it is a trusted voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

‘Based in Lismore, New South Wales, the Koori Mail was significantly impacted by the floods this year, affecting both the organisation and those who worked for it. However, the paper immediately pivoted to distribute emergency information and provide disaster relief. Their coordination and leadership provided support to First Nations people and the wider community in and around Lismore during this difficult time.’ The support included setting up a street kitchen and serving food to community members, many who had lost everything in the floods. The Koori Maiil is a a fine example to us all of what it truly means to ‘Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up!’


Echo Newspaper

NAIDOC Week 2022


National Reconciliation Week: Be Brave. Make Change.

National Reconciliation Week is a reminder for all Australians to contribute to achieving reconciliation for our first nation’s people in Australia, prompting all of us to learn about our shared histories and cultures.

The week always runs from 27 May to 3 June as it coincides with two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey so far: that of the 27 May, 1967 Referendum which saw an overwhelming 90% of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and recognize them in the census; and on the 3rd June 1992, Eddie Koiki Mabo’s court challenge which lead to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands, and paved the way to Native Title.

The concept of National Reconciliation Week started in 1993, the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, as a week of prayer for reconciliation, supported by Australia’s religious communities. In 1996 the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched Australia’s first National Reconciliation Week and in 2001, Reconciliation was formed to continue to provide leadership on reconciliation.

This same year, 2001, which saw 300,000 people cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of National Reconciliation Week which prompted other cities and towns across Australia to conduct bridge walks also.

Every year now in Australia, schools, workplaces and communities come together during Reconciliation Week to support our reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations people. This year’s theme of Be Brave, Make Change, follows on from last year’s theme to Take Action. It prompts every individual, organisation and community to take steps to help bridge the gap and find reconciliation.

At The BUSY Schools (a part of The BUSY Group), our vision for reconciliation with First Nations Peoples has its origins in our commitment to have more people in jobs, more people learning new skills, and more communities exposed to positive change, in partnership with employers and industry.

We recognise that a community-led, strengths-based approach that values the experience of First Nations Peoples is the best way to accelerate improvements in their life outcomes.

To make this vision a reality it is our intention to consult with First Nations Peoples to truly understand how we can work together to create opportunities.

The BUSY Group is driven by passion and commitment to make a difference by supporting Reconciliation through our commitment to the actions outlined in our ‘Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)’ which re-enforces our genuine commitment to improve the lives of one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world and assist in driving social change.

Throughout our offices, through morning teas and group communications, we’re encouraging all of our staff this year to Be Brave, Make Change, to reach out and connect with our First Nations Peoples, and the opportunities we can provide to improve lives through career pathways, vocational skills, employment and financial independence.

More information on Reconciliation Week 2022.

The BUSY Group was lucky enough to have one of our former employees create an art piece to represent our journey. This artwork is displayed in many of our offices.

BUSY Meeting Place by Shandell Washington – Artist

This is about the journey that BUSY has taken to get where they are now.

The black symbols represent the aboriginal men and women who had lived, worked, and looked after the land before our offices came to be where they are.

I have also painted a kangaroo and emu track to represent all the animals who walked the land before we began our journey.

 The yellow circles are in a symbol that represents ‘meeting place’. For BUSY, this whole journey has been one big meeting place for everyone to come and meet with all people across the organisation to help them gain employment or start their pathway to success. 

The biggest circle in the middle is a representation of Southport where the journey began for the BUSY staff with Martin Punch, our founding director’s hand print in the middle. Below Martin’s handprint is a sea mullet. The sea mullet represents the Yugambeh people. 

While researching for my painting I got onto uncle Ted Williams and asked if I might be able to use his totem as a symbol for the head office. Uncle Ted asked if I could paint the sea mullet, as the sea mullet represents all the Yugambeh people because when the sea mullet would come in close to shore the people would go fishing and catch a big heap of fish to then take back and share with all the mob. 

The other offices are represented through totems of the traditional owners of the land that they are situated. This is to show our respect and acknowledgement of the traditional owner. Every dot on this painting represents every worker and the individuals they have helped over the years, representing the hard work that has contributed to becoming such a great organisation.

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