Whitehaven helps fund high school Cultural Sustainability program

Students at Narrabri High School stand to benefit from a $30,000 grant aimed at improving cultural sustainability.

The grant was awarded by the Gomeroi Narrabri People Charitable Trust Fund, created in 2017 after Narrabri Coal – a subsidiary of Whitehaven Coal – entered into a Native Title agreement with the Gomeroi Narrabri People.

The trust fund supports the Gomeroi Narrabri People and aims to be an “effective enterprise that sustains and nurtures out culture, education, employment and our kids.”

Aboriginal Community Relations Officer Bob Sutherland said: “Cultural sustainability is extremely important to ensure tradition, history and customs continue to be woven into the fabric of future generations.

“Through the infrastructure and resources available through the trust, the Gomeroi Narrabri People are ensuring their community maintain living connections with their culture, whether it be through painting, education, agriculture practices or simply sitting down and having a conversation.”

“Whitehaven is proud to be part of this legacy,” Mr Sutherland said.

Narrabri High School will use the funding to boost its Cultural Sustainability program, which currently includes a garden area where students grow native vegetables and herbs. The area is also used as an informal meeting place between students, parents and carers outside the formal structure of an office.

The program’s facilities also include a classroom, which is used by younger members of the community to access assistance with job applications, career advisors and job opportunities in the Narrabri area.

The trust fund is just one of the ways in which Whitehaven supports the indigenous communities in North West NSW.

In 2018, the company launched its second Reconciliation Action Plan, donated $100,000 to local Aboriginal groups, and continued to support programs that facilitate access to education from kindergarten through to university and mature age.