As 2018 comes to a close, students emerge from their classrooms, libraries and studies to take stock of the year passed and celebrate their achievements and academic milestones. Such was true for Wirltu Yarlu’s cohort of Karnkanthi students, who marked the end of the year and, for many, the end of their secondary studies, with the inaugural Karnkanthi Ball on Friday 9th November.
Karnkanthi translates to “lifting up” in the Kaurna Language, and this was the definite theme of the night. Fifty Karnkanthi students, their families and supporters of the program were invited to revel in the many successes of this particular group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, many of whom have overcome significant hurdles.
Of this number, 23 students graduated from the Karnkanthi program, signalling both the end of the secondary studies and their upcoming transition into university. Further recognition was awarded to Grace Mayor, Ella Rigney, Akanisi Tuikaba and Tobias Turner, who were presented with the Leadership, Success, Resilience and Karnkanthi Spirit Awards respectively.
The evening also included a Keynote address by Samara Fernandez, a young Walpiri woman who has encountered many struggles in her short time. Presenting as a role model for the Karnkanthi students, Samara spoke to the tenets of the program, sharing how her experiences and definitions of resilience, cultural leadership and success have helped her in her ongoing pursuit of education.
With the formalities of the night wrapped up, the students and other guests were invited to let loose on the dancefloor with a special performance by Electric Fields.