To kick start the Ganbina Youth Leadership Program for 2023, Ganbina’s Year 11 and Year 12 Youth Leadership Participants got the opportunity to attend a two day camp at Murray Life Adventures, just outside of Echuca.
In total six participants took part in the two day adventure that included archery lessons, abseiling, a flying fox, obstacle course, canoeing and water activities – to name a few!
Outside of the fun activities, the participants had the opportunity to learn about personal development and leadership from Murry Life Adventures’ facilitator Fred, who spoke about his own life journey.
Day two of the camp included an archery lesson, which the participants found out is harder than it looks! Although challenging at first, after a bit of practice and commitment all the participants were hitting their targets by the end of the session. Another challenging (but rewarding) activity, was the fifteen foot tall flying fox. A few of the participants had to confront their fear of heights and build up the courage to try it. But everyone gave it a go and had a lot of fun as a result.
There was no internet at the adventure park, however this gave the leadership participants the chance to truly connect with Country after the floods and have a yarn with the Ganbina Project Officers, Murray Life Adventure Facilitators, as well as reflect on their own personal development.
Ganbina Youth Leadership Program Coordinator Rianne Hood said the camp was a great way to get the leadership kids across different year levels to connect after the summer school holidays.
“It gives the kids the chance to get to know each other, especially with kids from different year levels. It’s an opportunity to learn new leadership skills, try something new and contribute to a group. But it’s also a lot of fun and an opportunity to make some great memories,” she said.
Throughout the last few years there have been significant challenges for Aboriginal youth in the Goulburn Valley, who have had to deal with anxiety from COVID, disrupted learning and floods. However Rianne said she was very impressed by the dedication of the leadership participants at the camp.
“There’s been a lot of challenges recently, but everyone made an effort to show up and contribute and gave everything a go. One of our participants Hariyett hurt her ankle on the trip, but she still participated in as much as she could,” she said.
The facilitator Fred mentioned how impressed he was with the leadership group and how polite and respectful everyone was. At the end, he offered the group the opportunity to come back to engage in some volunteer and paid work experience with him.
“These are the type of opportunities that come about for the kids on the Youth Leadership Program,” Rianne said. “You get these type of opportunities on the program and they can result in things like paid work or internships that can lead to other opportunities,” she said.
“It was a great experience because it gave the kids time to connect after the school holidays and get to know each other. This next time this group will get together will be when they head off to New Zealand in September,” she said.
Overall everyone had a great experience, developing their leadership skills, connecting with other local Koorie kids and discovering opportunities that they didn’t expect.