A group of Yirara Year 9 and 10 students recently developed a small business as part of their study. Using a grant from the Department of Education, they were able to produce and sell calendars and greeting cards that showcased student artwork.
‘We have been learning about being good ambassadors, this project gave us the opportunity to be ambassadors for our school and our communities’, said Levina Grant, Year 10. The concept behind the grant is to allow the students to better understand what makes a small business sustainable.
The students were divided into teams that included artists, sales, production and packaging and administration. Through mentors, the teams controlled all aspects of the business process including planning together with research, costing and pricing followed by producing, selecting and printing the artwork, finally selling and accounting for the product.
Art by student Teagan Malthouse was selected for the month of March, she said, ‘I was so happy and proud. I told my family, they were also proud! I showed my mum the calendar and she said it was great seeing my painting on the calendar’.
Levina Grant, who worked on the stall at the Alice Springs markets wrote afterwards, ‘It was scary at first, but as the night went on, I got used to it. I think it was a good experience for me because my confidence increased. Some of the customers asked us questions about the artwork. They liked it. They were happy with the price’.
When Yirara student, and member of the sales team, Phyllis Bara saw the final product she said, ‘When I see Yirara students’ work, it inspires me with my own art. I feel really proud for my friends that did the art’.
At the end of the program, Project Manager and Mentor Anita Synnott reflected, ‘The skills sets that the students have learned are easily transferred to other areas of their life. The students have shared that their confidence has increased and they are more comfortable interacting with the general public. It has been a delight to see how much pride they have in their work’.