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Youth Leadership Camps

Nov 9, 2017 -- Posted by : admin

An innovative partnership has delivered a Youth Leadership Program which is achieving a remarkable turnaround in changing children’s lives.

Teamwork, one of the five guiding principles of these Cultural Youth Camps is also a solid basis of their success. Launched just 18 months ago, the partnership between the Shire of Carnarvon, Youth Service, Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures and the DBCA (Department of Parks and Wildlife) has already staged 6 camps for children and teens from Carnarvon - set amidst the wilderness seascapes of the pristine Shark Bay World Heritage region.

Based on five guiding principles – Teamwork, Leadership, Communication, Safety and Respect - the hands-on program fosters courage to engage, courage to lead change, and places strong emphasis on cultural and environmental sensitivity. Driven by a range of fun, inspirational activities and the passion of the guides and organisers – the stakes for the program’s success are sky high.

Aboriginal cultural knowledge and learnings thread the activities with magical moments such as spear fishing, learning about traditional bush foods and medicine, and playing the didgeridoo around the campfire. “A core focus of the Aboriginal culture is caring for country” said Darren (Capes) Capewell, owner of Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures, “Our Youth Leadership program integrates cultural learnings with environmental protection, teaching conservation and life skills that have been practiced for thousands of years”, he said.

Activities at a recent 8-day camp at ‘Wirruwana’ (Dirk Hartog Island) National Park included wildlife tracking and tagging for ‘Return to 1616’ - one of Australia’s most ambitious fauna restoration projects. With the support of Tangaroa Blue Foundation, there was also a clean-up at Mystery Beach, renowned for being a depository of flotsam, where the group set to work and, within 2 hours, had collected 17 bags of marine debris and many metres of rope.

Karl Brandenburg, President of the Shire of Carnarvon, who strongly support the program commented; “The natural world is a wonderful way to show our young generation how life should be lived away from digital technology”. “It gives them an insight into the importance of conserving sensitive, pristine areas such as Shark Bay and inspires them to lead active, fulfilling lives – my special thanks to the people who run these camps with such passion and dedication, it wouldn’t happen without them”.

And the children were unanimous in their feedback that the wildlife interaction was an absolute highlight of their experience – but not just the tracking and tagging of mammals and reptiles. The whale migration delivered a spectacular show, with spouting and breaches clearly visible from the shoreline and whale song at night creating a real sense of celebration.

Packing up on the last day was an absolute lowlight, but the children didn’t leave without a spark of light to head home with “there is no word for goodbye in our Aboriginal language”, said Capes, “in my country we say ‘Barda Nyinda’ – which means, “see you later”.

For more information about the Cultural Youth Camps visit:  www.wulagura.com.au/groups/youth-camps and www.carnarvon.wa.gov.au



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