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Ellis-Yolmen sees impact of Ready Set Crow

Natasha Wade  July 12, 2017 3:58 PM


Cam Ellis-Yolmen enjoyed a trip to the Far West Coast with Andrew McLeod and Josh Wittwer

We’ll see the biggest impact in two or three years with the ongoing relationships and trust built over time, so when the younger kids reach high school age they will feel more comfortable about making the transition to school in Adelaide.

Injured Crow Cameron Ellis-Yolmen was a popular guest during the Ready Set Crow (RSC) team’s recent visit to South Australia’s Far West Coast.

Across three days the team, led by Crows legend Andrew McLeod and project officer Josh Wittwer, visited the Yalata and Oak Valley communities as part of the long-term project which aims to engage young people, and improve education outcomes by supporting those in remote communities to attend secondary school in Adelaide.

Ellis-Yolmen, who has previously mentored Indigenous students attending school in Adelaide as part of the McLeod Centre of Excellence, said it was great to see the impact of the Club’s RSC program first-hand.

“I know about the work that Andrew and Josh and the team do through the Ready Set Crow program and I was keen to join them on one of their trips and get involved,” Ellis-Yolmen said.

“I was really impressed with the relationships they have with the communities. They (McLeod and Wittwer) are both really engaging and when they speak the kids go quiet and really listen to them.

“We attended schools and spoke to students and one night we had a big community barbeque at Oak Valley where all of the kids and families came out."

“The kids were so excited to have the team there – they run after Andrew and Josh and jump on them and want to kick the footy or chat.”

Ellis-Yolmen said he was keen to go on the next trip if it fit in with his rehabilitation program.

“It was really good to engage with the kids, hang out with them, kick the footy around and meet different people.”

McLeod said the program was gaining momentum.

“The program has been running for 12 months now with the team making regular visits to both communities (APY Lands and Far West Coast), everyone has a clear understanding that we’re here for the long term to help foster and support young Anangu people with their education,” McLeod said.

“We’ll see the biggest impact in two or three years with the ongoing relationships and trust built over time, so when the younger kids reach high school age they will feel more comfortable about making the transition to school in Adelaide.

“Attending school in Adelaide is a huge step for these kids and families – their lives are very different and it is a long way from home – so it’s vitally important they have familiar faces they know they can rely on.”

The RSC team works with the Department of Education and Child Development, schools, key education stakeholders and Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) Providers to offer mentoring and support for students looking to transition from remote communities to Secondary School study in Adelaide.

The RSC project is proudly delivered in partnership with the Australian Government.

As well as speaking to students about continuing their education in Adelaide, the visits often involve providing practical help and one-on-one mentoring.