Spaceframe was approached to assist in building a Curriculum and Reengagement in Education (CARE) facility for Aboriginal teen girls at risk within the Kununurra community. The Alta-1 Kununurra Campus provides middle and senior school education for children who do not attend mainstream government school. Business Manager for Alta-1 WA, Kevin Thomson stated that the school’s point of difference is “love, genuine care and recovery education”. The tailored curriculum focuses on project work for help students overcome trauma and make healthy life choices for a better future as part of their personal recovery program.

CEO of GIVIT, Juliette Wright, originally reached out to Spaceframe’s Joint Managing Director, Jane Raspotnik, for a contact within the Western Australian steel industry. After hearing about the struggles of these children and the surrounding community, the Raspotnik generosity kicked into full gear. Committing to building all the structural components and the supply of all decking & roofing materials to build the whole school, the partnership was on track for a successful and impactful project.

However, the family’s offer of assistance was not over yet. After extending the offer of support to the Spaceframe Team, an additional donation of kitchen materials and tools was made for the proposed kitchen, a space for both the students and teachers to learn and create healthy meals to support their recovery journey. Partnering with a Brisbane Girl Guide’s unit, Spaceframe employees generously donated items to create care packages for the new students. These included personal backpacks filled with hygiene products, stationary sets, as well as arts & crafts supplies for every girl.

Within six months of the relationship, the school was completed and welcomed the first five students. Three months later, seven students. 2019 was a year of milestones for the school as it welcomed four new students and two additional staff members (teacher and a youth engagement worker) to the facility and graduated two students back into mainstream government education. One student, who previously required engagement at home started to attend school regularly. “She now enjoys going out [into the community] with our engagement officer, encouraging other students to make positive choices” Tomson said. “When [then Alta-1 WA Teacher] Anj told her she could become an engagement worker…her face lit up with excitement! We have an amazing facility here are we are making a difference with the assistance of your generosity”.

Since then, the school has grown to include 17 girls. Now Acting Regional Principal, Anj Thomson said “It’s been a tough but rewarding journey so far… for many of our students it’s more than a school, but a safe place to be fed, clothes and rest if they need to”.

GIVIT’s Western Australia Manager, Travis Fitch described the project as “…one of the biggest and most successful project[s]”.

“It is gratifying to know that we, along with the whole GIVIT and Alta-1 teams, have helped make such a difference in not just to the young women at the school but also their family and communities” said Jane Raspotnik. “The girls gifted our team a beautiful painting which now sits proudly on our ‘Better Everything’ achievement wall’.

Spaceframe Buildings remains in regular contact with the team at the Alta-1 Kununurra Campus, and is looking forward to the next partnership opportunity with GIVIT and Alta-1.