Thursday, December 8, 2022

Cattle property helping girls’ growth

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Feeding the poddys
Nina Savo-Dick feeds hay to the poddys on Wolverton Station.
Photo: Cape York Weekly

A pilot program for teenager girls that focused on developing confidence, self esteem and self development has been hailed as a success.

Emma Jackson and Rosita Hudson
Emma Jackson with Rosita Hudson. Photo” Cape York Weekly

Over the course of the year, 47 girls from Napranum visited Wolverton Station, usually in groups of eight, for three days of activities on the working cattle property.

Emma Jackson, who founded the program called Swift Teens, said the girls had all shown signs of growth during their two stints at Wolverton.

“There was a lot of interpersonal development,” she said.

“There were a number of activities with horses and cattle which helped build confidence, self awareness, communication, relationships, trust and empowerment.”

The program was backed by Rio Tinto’s Community Development Fund and Ms Jackson said she hoped she could secure long-term funding to keep the program running for many years to come.

Cattle girls
Catriona Hall and Alex Dick tend to the cattle on Wolverton Station.
Photo: Cape York Weekly

Teen girls develop skills on remote cattle station

The Swift Teens program not only worked on interpersonal development – the girls were put through their paces to learn new skills with livestock.

Cattle girls
Kaelia Hall gets friendly with a station horse.
Photo: Cape York Weekly

Challenges included horse riding, horse grooming and wisdom, cattle welfare and safety, feeding horses, cattle, pigs and chickens, and general cattle management, including mustering, branding, de-horning and vaccinating.

“All of the girls who came to the property showed that they have a bright future and will all have employment prospects,” Wolverton Station’s Emma Jackson said.

She thanked Western Cape College, Rio Tinto and the Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council for their support of the program.

“The council in particular were supportive from day one and in April this year we took 11 girls out as a test run and the mayor (Janita Motton) came out as well,” Ms Jackson said.

“We noticed such a big change from the girls’ first trip to their second – their confidence just grew.”

Cape York Weekly 21 December 2021

This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 21 December 2021.

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