The curtain is about to officially come down on Wanta’s RSAS program in three (3) Central Australian communities. Wanta has been running the Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) program in Yuendumu, Papunya and Ntaria/Hermannsburg. Wanta’s operation of the RSAS programs in the 3 communities officially ended on the 30th of June 2023. Students and families in the 3 communities will miss the Wanta RSAS staff and vehicles when classes resume for term 3 this month.

Last week, students and staff in both Ntaria School and Papunya school bid farewell to Wanta RSAS managers Tash and Henly respectively. Both have spent over 3 years working in the two communities. Ntaria School hosted a special assembly for Tash where everyone enjoyed a slideshow of memories with Tash during her time in Ntaria. The kids gave her hand-written cards, and said their favourite things about her. The RSAS staff were also thanked for their hard work in their roles with speeches and gifts from the Wanta staff, which was followed by the school and community at their end of term celebrations. The School also kindly organised a farewell afternoon tea at the Hermannsburg precinct where Tash was showered with gifts and thanked for her years of service to the school, kids, families, and the community. All four RSAS staff have been able to retain employment, with Michelle heading over to be an Assistant Teacher with the school and Katherine, Baydon, and Valerie transferring across to work in the Wanta run SCfC Ntaria programs which is fantastic for them and Wanta!

Meanwhile, in Papunya, the school hosted a farewell assembly and barbeque for Henly and his family. The kids and staff presented hand-written farewell cards and the school presented Henly and his family a voucher for the Papunya Arts Centre as a token of appreciation. To top things off, one of the classes from Papunya performed a special rendition of Warumpi band’s – My Island home. The lyrics of the song truly resonates with Henly and his family.

Though we are disappointed that the RSAS program has concluded, we know that we have made a difference to the mindset of our indigenous children and hope that they continue to understand the importance of their education and getting to school each day! We are still out there in the communities and will do whatever it takes to continue this legacy.