A key pillar of PROK’s strategy is to support and invest in the communities in which we operate, from creating employment opportunities through to providing support to the local community and sporting groups.

PROK has been a long time supporter of the Wirrpanda Foundation, whose aim is to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians through education, employment, health and justice.

PROK was recently given the “once in a lifetime” opportunity to join the Wirrpanda Foundation at their Remote School Attendance Strategy Program in Wiluna, WA.

PROK’s Frames Production Supervisor, Mathew Tran, was selected to attend the trip as a representative of PROK. Matt is a mentor to our young indigenous apprentices at PROK Bayswater and is passionate about supporting his team to further their career opportunities.

Mat shared his experience at Wiluna with the team, journaling the activities of the 3-day trip.

 

“I was recently lucky to be a part of the Wirrpanda Foundation’s Remote School Attendance Strategy Program in Wiluna, which is a small town in the Mid-West Region of Western Australia occupied by the local Martu people.

 

The Martu are the traditional owners of a large part of central Western Australia which extends from the Great Sandy Desert in the north to around Wiluna in the south.

 

The trip focused on sharing cultural values and engaging with the local school.

 

During my time at Wiluna, I experienced some of the Martu peoples culture, who share a rich, family orientated culture that focusses on passing their heritage on to the next generation.

 

An elder and some local community members shared a traditional meal with us, preparing Kangaroo tail whilst telling stories of the region, and giving an insight into the daily life of the Martu people.

 

We were also invited to the Wiluna Art Gallery where local artists showed us the process of creating indigenous art, a skill that requires patience and a steady hand.

 

One-piece in particular caught my eye, painted by local woman Christina Williams, which I was honoured to purchase as a keepsake of the trip.

 

 

Perhaps the greatest experience at Wiluna was the opportunity to visit and spend time with the children at the local community school. Over the three days, we ran a range of activities and games with the kids, as well as a highly anticipated and very competitive mentors vs kids game.

 

During our time at the school, teachers saw a much higher than regular attendance which supported learning and play for many kids who otherwise wouldn’t attend.

 

I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent PROK and our involvement in supporting indigenous communities through the Wirrpanda Foundation. Being apart of this trip has given me an insight into why engagement and attendance programs are crucial for regional towns and has motivated me to continue to support the career development of indigenous youth at PROK.”

 

Check out some photos of Matt’s trip below.