A Karratha Aboriginal educator is using her experience as a marathon runner to teach young female Indigenous students about fitness, health and wellbeing.
Tambrey Primary School Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer (AIEO) Natasha Leslie launched Tambrey on Track in 2022.
The program is for Indigenous girls in Years 4 to 6 and focuses on developing relationships, fitness and positive self-image through games, activities and engaging with the community.
Ms Leslie, a Worimi woman from New South Wales who has lived in Karratha for more than 10 years, recently returned from competing in the London marathon which she hopes will inspire and encourage her students.
Ms Leslie launched Tambrey on Track after seeing the positive impacts of the Karratha Clontarf Primary Academy, which offers Year 4 to 6 boys opportunities to develop leadership skills.
“As a school community, we thought it was well worth doing our own Tambrey Primary School program for the Indigenous girls,” she told ABC Pilbara.
“Because I am very passionate about health and fitness and the crossover into your mental wellbeing, and being a graduate from the Indigenous Marathon Project, the school has used my passion and expertise in that area to create this program.”
Along with physical wellbeing, Tambrey on Track focuses on relationships, identity, art, nutrition, health, fitness and life skills.
Ms Leslie said it has had positive benefits since launching 12 months ago.
“It’s very heavily based on physical fitness but also we play games. It’s more about being active and having the change in their mental wellbeing so they are more able to focus when going to class.
“Since starting the program, the attendance of our girls has increased so it shows positive signs. Their engagement within the school has improved. They really enjoy it. With this program I try to encourage that everybody can do anything they want to if they put their mind to it.”