Evaluate how they express the values of your group (e.g. How do they reach peopl

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Evaluate how they express the values of your group (e.g. How do they reach people who may be excluded or marginalised? How do they work with people from different backgrounds? How do they inspire others?)
The Burbangana Program has for over 15 years enriched and impacted the lives of young people. The program coordinated by Suze Boyd expresses all of our group’s values through the connections it creates for at-risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
Burbangana comes from Dharug language and means “take my hand and help me up”. Through this simple yet powerful message the program expresses compassionate empathy by understanding the complex situations of some Australian youth. Additionally, by “taking participants’ hands and helping them up”, the program is actively striving to develop equity within society and reflects the value of equality by providing access to learning opportunities for Indeginious Australians.
Additionally, the program greatly focuses on creating connections to people, culture and knowledge. Most evidently this reflects the value of companionships as participants are encouraged to become a member of the “well established Taronga Zoo family” and develop relationships with zoo keepers, peers, carers and most importantly with Taronga’s animals. Another aspect of this companionship is seen in the relationship participants are able to develop with community Elders enabling a connection to culture.
The value of integrity is also expressed through the actions of staff members and coordinators within the program. A significant portion of the staff are zoo keepers who dedicate time on top of their usual jobs to work with participants and help create the supportive culture of the program. This added responsibility illustrates the staff members’ consistent attempt to act with honor and in guidance to their own ethical principles. By valuing the participants and creating authentic connections the staff members model to participants integrity in their interactions.
Finally, the Burbangana program innovates the schooling system for at-risk children in foster care. By doing so they have found a way to teach and involve participants in a community that also connects to their culture. Furthermore, Taronga Zoo is obviously a non-traditional learning environment that can provide a connection to land and knowledge that traditional schools often ignore or just cannot provide. This innovation is a leading factor in the program’s success for over 15 years and the positive impact it has had for participants.

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