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Hi Klarindah – welcome to Ganbina! Can you start with letting us know about yourself? Are you originally from Shepparton? What’s your mob?

I grew up in Melbourne and moved to Shepparton in 2020, which was good timing because the lockdowns were so much more intense in the city than here. My mum’s mob is Gunditjmarra and on my dad’s side I’m Yorta Yorta. I moved here because my partner lives here and I play netball here. So I really just needed a job to make the move.

How did the opportunity to work at Ganbina come about?

I felt I was ready for something new, my previous role was starting to feel a bit repetitive so I reached out to Rianne (Ganbina Programs Manager) and asked her if there were any jobs going at Ganbina. She said she would double check and to see if there was anything and it turns out this role was available. Then it all happened really quickly, I had the interview the following week and now I’m here. It was perfect timing.

You won the Ganbina Youth of the Year Award last year, did you have any other interactions with Ganbina before then, such as when you were a student?

I didn’t know much about Ganbina previously as I had grown up in Melbourne. However my partner had been on Ganbina’s programs and he told me about the awards. I assumed I couldn’t apply because I wasn’t a participant and because I had turned 25, I didn’t think I was eligible. But it turned out I could apply and I did, and I was lucky enough to win.

What sort of support will you be providing the Ganbina participants and their families?

I work with the primary school participants from prep to Grade 6. I’m here to support the families and the kids. I can help families with accessing funds to help pay for school uniforms and education expenses, each kid has $200 in funding they can access. I’ll be attending school events to engage with the participants and I’m able to support families by attending SSGs when requested (Student Support Group). This is where if kids are struggling I go along to a meeting with their teacher, the Koori educator and their parents. We put a plan in place to support the kids with whatever they’re struggling with at school.

I reach out to the families regularly and check in to see if they need support with anything. I’m also ensuring that the families and participants know that Ganbina can help with the transition from Grade 6 to high school. We want the kids to know who their next direct contact person at Ganbina will be once they start high school. The support continues, it’s just that I won’t be their direct support person once they go into high school, it will be with a different project officer.

I also run the Accelerated Learning Program, which is for kids that need support in English and Maths from Grade 3-6.

How can participants and families get in touch with you to access the support and services you’ve mentioned?

They can contact me by ringing the office directly on 5821 7333 and ask for Klarindah. Or they can email me directly at klarindah@ganbina.com.au