- Friday 21 October 2016
- Written by Peta Cooper
Four teenagers from Bendigo are about to head to the Northern Territory on the trip of a lifetime as part of a pilot scheme aimed at developing indigenous leaders of the future.
The two boys and two girls fly to Darwin on Monday with Anglicare Victoria’s Taking Flight program, and will spend the week engaged in cultural, sporting and leadership activities with players from the Essendon Football Club, officials from Tennis Australia and members of local communities.
They will be taught fishing by local elders and help conduct football and tennis clinics with school children.
“The aim is to foster their leadership skills and recognise the positive impact young people like themselves can have when they return home to their communities,” said Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative Family Harmony Program Manager Geoff West.
Geoff will accompany the Bendigo teens on their adventure, which also includes time in Batchelor and an overnight stay in the Litchfield National Park.
Koori Education Support Officers at schools in Bendigo and surrounds selected the four participants in April from year 10 to year 12 students who showed dedication to education and leadership potential.
They completed phase one of Taking Flight in May, attending two days of health, wellbeing, aspirational and development activities in Melbourne that culminated in The Long Walk to the MCG with AFL legend Michael Long for the Dreamtime game between Essendon and Richmond.
Taking Flight is now in its second year, but this is the first time Bendigo indigenous youth have been invited, joining young Goolum Goolum people from the Wimmera in the exciting opportunity.
Geoff said: “Young people are our future and this trip provides these students with the chance to learn from some exceptional role models and to discover that they really can make a difference.”
We wish our four young leaders all the best and look forward to hearing more about their experiences after they return on October 29.