By Dylan J. Stone
Big Sky Stories is due to open on Friday, July 22nd.
Jane Vaughan, a qualified primary school teacher, and Nicky Wright, a qualified social worker, are two of the three directors of the latest social enterprise to open in Broken Hill.
The initiatives of “Big Sky Stories will encourage, enable and equip families of Far West NSW in creativity, language, and literacy,” Jane says.
“Our aim is to see all of the young people in NSW thrive in those three key areas by creating a place where people can gather around for making and storytelling.’
This goal, Nicky adds, will be achieved by ‘resourcing the community to allow people to learn creative ventures and experience different learning opportunities.”
Jane and Nicky’s qualifications in these fundamental areas of social and educational development will ensure this social enterprise has the skills, experience and expertise to deliver on these goals and to make a positive social impact on the community.
The social enterprise model will allow for Big Sky Stories to not solely rely on grants.
Nevertheless, support from Foundation Broken Hill and NSW Clubs have allowed this initiative to transform from a dream to a reality and Big Sky Stories cannot be more appreciative of these two organisations for their support.
Additionally, two businesses will contribute 100% of their profits to Big Sky Stories, being the ‘One More Page Book Emporium,’ and ‘Tie the Knot Macrame.’
The intent of Big Sky Stories is clear, to be a non-clinical community based arts program that fosters and extends the development of young people in key educational measurements.
Nevertheless, Jane stresses that “there are already so many other people who do this work, so for us, it’s about adding capacity to what’s already available and around.”
The key difference though, according to Nicky, is that from a business point of view, the profits are ‘going to something that benefits the entire community.’
On this basis, Big Sky Stories is a registered charity, which allows this social enterprise to realise these fundamental goals in a way that maximises the benefits available to those who access the program, and to the wider community.
The dominant goal of Big Sky Stories is to positively contribute to the community, by addressing the geographic and economic isolation that has resulted in lower language and literacy levels for young people in Far West NSW compared to their urban counterparts.
For a community that continues to struggle with so many educational issues, there certainly is a big sky on the horizon.