For the third year running GP down south were involved in delivering the Makaroo cultural camp. The camp was held at Nanga Bush camp Dwellingup and went for five days.
31 Aboriginal youth participants from the Mandurah, Pinjarra, Waroona and surrounding Peel areas, ranging in age from 7 – 17 years were able to learn, have fun and connect to country. Camp mentors were on hand to support participants and included staff from all participating organisations along with four WA Police cadets attending daily.
It was a huge 5 days with the young people enjoying a range of activities. Supported by the mentors, they were welcomed with a smoking ceremony and some of the kids worked to maintain the fire during the camp.
There were adventurous options with a high ropes course, orienteering and a riot squad session with the WA Police. They had a great day out at the Newmont Boddington Gold mine looking at the kinds of jobs available in mining and also had a guest speaker from the Australian Defence Force.
Culture and country remained front and centre for the camp and they had lots of opportunity to participate in activities such as Mayakeniny Dance Group lessons and Lane Pool Dwellingup cultural session. The boys were taught how to prepare kangaroo and the camp culminated with a cultural evening with traditional foods and dance presentation. Around 50 guests attended to celebrate with the camp participants.
The young people have the opportunity to build cultural connections that will be lifelong while also getting the opportunity to learn about career pathways available to them. The young people build new friendships and awareness of services available to them through these cultural camps. Once camp is done, AOT and CPFS run a Koolunga Mia program for all participants to attend weekly to continue the connections formed at camp.
Many thanks to Department of Communities for funding and enabling the camp to go ahead. Pavilion Media were on hand to document the camp and will be creating a short film about the experience.
And huge shout out the Assertive Outreach Team and other staff who put in mammoth efforts to make sure the kids have a fun and enriching experience.
We are looking forward to the next camp happening in the Greater Bunbury region later this year with support from Alcoa.