Annalise Jennings has recently implemented the first Career /Life Coaching and Management System (CCMS) engaging Year-7 students at primary schools in the Cape York community in October and November of 2010. Hope Vale Primary School was the only indigenous school in the cluster, and it was the first time these principles had been applied to teachers and Year-7 students in an indigenous community in Australia.
Annalise created the program after being approached by Leanne Rayner, the CEO of Cape York Primary Schools, who had attended the Young Leaders Program Graduation in July, 2010. “I saw the graduates at Hope Vale stand up and tell a huge audience what their aspirations were. And I realised there was a strong need for Annalise’s program to reach the younger children – with their parents, in our schools. A lot of them lacked confidence, and seeing the graduates at Hope Vale showed me it was possible to change that.”
The program incorporates a self-management system whereby the children, their teachers and parents can map their progression from year to year. It assesses the children on levels including employability, learn-ability, career profiling and individual self-assessment, and teaches them stronger self-knowledge and instils in them self-esteem.
In conjunction with the Year-7 co-ordinator for these schools, Annalise worked with 23 students, alongside their parents and teachers in one-on-one and group sessions, teaching essential goal setting and self-development life skills. “It was just amazing, and it’s what I wanted for our kids – that understanding of themselves, to know their aspirations and head for that dream,” said Leanne.
For a sector of the Australian population with notoriously high levels of illiteracy and low school attendance, Annalise’s unique way of engaging the students and helping them express themselves was welcomed with relief.
“The kids engaged so beautifully with Annalise and I could see the difference in their confidence especially. The gentle nature of Annalise is amazing. She has an incredible way about her, you never feel anything but relaxed with her, there’s never any confrontation…which is why the children and their parents opened up so well,” said Leanne.
Feedback from the parents was equally enthusiastic, with one Hope Vale parent saying: “I never had anything like this in my youth. This is really helpful.” Another parent from Rossville said: “The children learnt a lot about themselves and as a parent, l learnt a lot about my child. I can’t wait to see the benefits of the coaching taking place in our home lives as well as at school. Thank you for your positive influence Annalise.”
Of the 23 students who took part in the program, post-course feedback displayed a particular transformation in their levels of confidence and self-esteem. At the beginning of the course, many of the students had lacked direction, now they hold a new sense of purpose. Leanne said since
the course finished, the kids have maintained that transformation.
Teriah, from Hope Vale, said the course inspired her to be proud of her cultural heritage. One of her goals is now to pass her language on to her little sister.
Annalise has always had a strong desire to coach and support school age children. “Having children of my own, l had a passion to support young people in helping them create a vision for their future and to empower them to articulate their hopes, dreams and aspirations. There’s just no greater satisfaction than to watch a young face light up with hope,” she said.
Annalise hopes to introduce the program to many more communities across Australia.