11 March 2024

Wujal Wujal school spirit high despite post-cyclone displacement

| Chisa Hasegawa
Join the conversation
Student receiving School Savvy FNQ supply pack

Wujal Wujal students in Cairns received their Bloomfield River State School uniforms as well as backpacks and stationery packs. Photo: School Savvy FNQ.

In the unsettlement of being displaced from their community after Tropical Cyclone Jasper, school has been a beacon of normality for Wujal Wujal students and their families.

This year, Centacare’s School Savvy FNQ initiative aided in sending Wujal Wujal students in Cairns to school together in their Bloomfield River State School uniforms.

School Savvy FNQ manager Andrea Obeyesekere said with Cape York Partnerships and the Department of Education, Bloomfield River State School had been able to set up its own unit at Cairns West State School.

“The teachers are based there and the children go in their own uniforms and have their classes together, so that they maintain their identities for when they are able to return to their community,” she said.

“Fortunately, the uniform shop [in Wujal Wujal] wasn’t damaged in the flooding, so they were able to get the uniforms airlifted to us here in Cairns and School Savvy was able to purchase the uniforms for the students.

“There was a lot of little kids starting prep this year, so you can imagine the drama of being evacuated and then starting school in Cairns, but this way, they’re able to go in the Bloomfield uniform and go with their family.”

She explained that the students being able to continue their education with as much normalcy as possible was crucial.

“It must be scary as a little person, because Bloomfield is such a small, connected school, and then to come here and be thrust into so much change,” Ms Obeyesekere said.

“This is also a great opportunity to really allow them to be proud of the school they’re going to.

“I think this has been a small way that we in Cairns were able to support a community that our hearts are breaking for.”

School Savvy FNQ is an initiative which provides access to pre-loved school uniforms and supplies for students in families struggling financially.

The pop-up shop has become an all-round “soft entry point” for families to access services they may have not heard about or know they needed.

Families can access services such as financial literacy, digital literacy, back-to-school haircuts and assistance with school busses.

“It’s open to anyone in the community who needs assistance and we don’t do any kind of checks,” Ms Obeyesekere said.

“There’s a lot of dignity in the program, and it’s completely based on community generosity and community donations.”

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Cape York Weekly

Subscribe to get the latest edition of Cape York Weekly in your inbox each Monday.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Cape York Weekly's terms and conditions and privacy policy.