The Y WA’s own Y Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) Coordinator, Lee-Anne Ugle has been nominated for Newman’s Business Excellence Awards 2021 for her incredible work in the community, supporting local young people and improving school attendance.
Lee-Anne and the RSAS team work closely with schools, families, parents, students and community organisations to design and deliver the best local solutions to improve school attendance and engagement in the community for Indigenous students. The team are a leading force in engaging and supporting at risk young people in the community.
In both a work and volunteer capacity, Lee-Anne works from a person-centred, strengths-based, solutions-focused approach. She places emphasis on relationships as the context in which youth development and empowerment can occur; meeting the young people ‘where they are at’ and supporting them to exceed their potential.
In December of 2020, Lee-Anne was seeing unusually low attendance at school, and a high-rate of young people were engaging in anti-social behaviour in the community during school hours and overnight. Supported by the Y, Lee-Anne voluntarily created a pilot youth outreach program, in partnership with Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation. The initiative involves positively engaging with young people who are out on the streets after 9pm and on weekdays, and providing a safe space free of judgement, a meal, water and transport home if needed. Volunteers for the outreach program includes staff from Mission Australia, Punturkurnu Aboriginal Medical Service, Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation, NWS Outreach staff and Creating Communities.
The success of the pilot program from December resulted in a Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (MEL) Framework being created for the program, for outreach to continue at start of school term in 2021. Other outreach events included the free Youth Disco for all school-aged students in March and the free Inaugural NAIDOC Youth Ball for all high school-aged students in July.
Lee-Anne has been instrumental in bringing findings from the youth outreach program to the forefront, resulting in senior leaders of the Pilbara working collaboratively to address the anti-social behaviours occurring in the community.
Lee-Anne is an incredibly passionate and driven person, who is constantly seeking out opportunities to deliver innovative ways to support the local youth. She has excellent interpersonal skills, is non-judgemental, has outstanding leadership qualities and demonstrates exceptional integrity. She places high value on delivering high professional standards and has a demonstrated commitment to supporting young people as they improve their lives.
Good luck and congratulations to Lee-Anne, we are in constant awe of her passion and drive, and have our fingers firmly crossed for her to win!