NAISDA needs Homestay host families

NAISDA Dance College is seeking host families Photo: Lisa Haymes

NAISDA Dance College is currently accepting applications from families wanting to be a host family for its 2021 Homestay Program.

The program offers accommodation to students aged 16-18 from around Australia who want to study a Certificate Three in Dance Practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The Nyangga Ngura program, meaning “To give camp” in Darkinjung Language, has been running for 10 years.

The children, or Developing Artists (DAs), can stay with their matched Central Coast family on a short or longer-term basis.

Developing Artists Support Officer, Adelle Grogan, said the host families provide a safe and welcoming place to live whilst the student is away from their home community.

“The DAs come from far and wide – regional, urban, and remote regions,” Grogan said.

“Most of the time, when we do place our DA with a family, they stay for a year, or sometimes they will stay for a couple of years until they are 18.

“The DAs go home for the holidays.”

Grogan said the audition process has been different than in other years due to COVID.

“It is going to be a different experience for our DAs next year because we have had to do all our auditions online,” she said.

“In the past, they all came here for a week, met each other, and got to know the staff.

“They have missed out on that this year so they will be meeting everyone for the first time in their orientation week.”

She said before the start of the course, an extensive amount of communication is done between NAISDA, the DA, and the host family.

“DAs will come and have their orientation, and then start their Certificate 3 straight away,” she said.

Registrations for host families is open now, with the program to start on January 25, 2021.

Jacinta Counihan