Dance college seeks student home stay

Minister Troy Grant, NAISDA executive director Kim NAISDA students

NAISDA Dance College is appealing to Central Coast families to participate in the NAISDA Homestay Program, where they will have an opportunity to host a NAISDA student and welcome them into their home while they study at the College in 2017.

Based in Kariong, NAISDA has a proud tradition of producing the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers and is considered one of Australia’s leading Indigenous dance training colleges. Each year, talented young people travel from regional cities and remote communities around Australia to study at NAISDA and launch their performing arts career. Many of the younger developing artists rely on families participating in NAISDA’s Homestay Program to host them as they undertake their studies.

One such family is Tina Davies and her husband Joe Schumacher from Umina, who have participated in NAISDA’s Homestay Program over several years. “We are foster-parents and decided participating in the Homestay Program would be a different, yet wonderful, way to have young people into our lives,” said Tina. “It has been a wonderful experience and we have been fortunate to not only get to know the developing artists that have stayed with us, but their peers also. “There are so many rewarding aspects of becoming a Homestay family, from the energy that the young developing artists bring to our home, to building relationships with the young people and learning about each person’s story and culture.

“These experiences have led to many of the young people generously sharing their culture with us, which has enabled us to learn more about the world’s oldest continuing culture,” she continued. For Tina and Joe, the Homestay Program has resulted in strong connections with the talented young people they have hosted. “We have enjoyed keeping in touch with the developing artists who have stayed with us, from catching up with them in their home town, being invited to celebrate a 21st and sharing a meal with their families.

“In December, we were delighted to have two past developing artists come and stay for a few days to catch up with us,” Tina added. Chief Operating Officer of NAISDA, Debra Schleger, said “We have the capacity to accommodate a number of our developing artists at our Mt Penang Parklands campus, however, many younger developing artists require the additional support that a family provides,” she said. NAISDA has a comprehensive accreditation process that ensures a positive experience for families and developing artists alike. Selected families will be provided with support payments as well as continued assistance from NAISDA staff.

Media release, Jan 17, 2017 Alison Orren, Brilliant Logic

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