Winner: Neasha Benton
School: Pularumpi School (Melville Island NT)
The Vibe crew headed up to the Tiwi Islands last month to congratulate some talented students.
The vibrant Indigenous community of Melville Island recently played host to the Vibe barbecue thanks to the work of three talented young students.
Neasha Benton, Thecla Brogan and Selina Puruntatameri, submitte d t hree fantastic stories into the Vibe My Story – Bring an Ambassador to School competition, all on the topic of “My Favourite Family Yarn”.
All of the My Story entries were judged by a panel consisting of Vibe staff, representatives from the Department of Education, Science and Training and Sydney Swans superstar Michael O’Loughlin.
Vibe representatives Claude Williams and Vicki Jones travelled all the way from Sydney to put on the barbecue and present the three winners with their awards and prizes. It was the first time either of them ha d t ravelle d t o Melville Island, which lies just off the coast of the Northern Territory.
The three winners are all sixth grade students at the Pularumpi School, which has an enrolment of approximately 100 students, ranging from kindergarten to year seven. Five teachers an d t hree assistants are employed at the school, with the assistants all coming from the local community.
The presentation started with a traditional welcome dance that was performed by a local dance group. This was followed by a Welcome to Country from Tiwi elder Willy Rioli.
After a speech from Claude , the winners were then presented with their awards and prizes, which included Sony walkmans, CDs, T-shirts and magazines. All in attendance then enjoye d t he sizzling barbecue while the children pulled out the wet tarpaulin for some slippery slide action in the warm Melville sun.
“Melville is a very healthy, safe and happy community,” says Vicki Jones. “The whole community were very welcoming.
“The principal is doing a lot of great work, getting the kids to school, an d t he parents are taking an active interest in their children’s education.
“They also love to read Deadly Vibe.”
Like Vicki , Claude was blown away by the community’s warm reception.
“School principal Anthony Kleidon and his staff must to be congratulated for their cooperation and professionalism displaye d t hroughout the official proceedings and our stay,” says Claude . “The students were a credit to their parents an d t eachers. They were well behaved and always happy and smiling.
“The Melville Island barbeque and presentation was not only a success for Pularumpi School and Vibe Australia, it was also a fantastic experience that I know I’ll never forget.”