Helping at-risk Aboriginal youth rediscover their country
A Community Grant provided a small group of Aboriginal youth with a fabulous 5-day educational camp in remote South Australia.
The Nature Foundation conserves, restores and protects South Australian landscapes, flora and fauna to ensure their survival. The organisation’s activities include land purchase and management, bringing Murray River wetlands back to life, and connecting youth and people of all ages with nature.
How did a Community Grant help Aboriginal youth?
Nature Foundation runs the Kids on Country program, which aims to inspire at-risk Aboriginal youth to protect the environment, while deepening their connection to culture and country. A Sisters of Charity Foundation $10K Community Grant funded a Kids on Country camp at the beautiful Hiltaba Nature Reserve, just north of the Gawler Ranges on the Eyre Peninsula.
Aboriginal youth get busy in the outback
Six young people joined Aboriginal community leaders and educators on the 5-day camp. There were lots of activities to help the kids adjust to the remote location – like geocaching (an outdoor treasure hunting game played with a GPS-tracker), bird watching, flora and fauna identification, land conservation and fence removals, and cultural storytelling and songs – which kept the kids too busy to worry about having no mobile phone reception!
Warren Milera, an Adnyamathanha man, spoke about his life and journey as a role model in his community, singing original songs that touched on self-esteem and identity. He had plenty of wisdom to share with the kids; including tips to succeed, stay out of trouble, and remain strong in Aboriginal identity. Warren joined in with most activities and was able to add a unique perspective over the five days.
“It was such a privilege to see the young people grow and evolve and become increasingly grounded and connected to culture and country as the week went on,” said Youth Programs Coordinator Katie Perry, who was impressed with their respectful good behaviour.
What the kids had to say…
The camp was a hit with the kids, with several telling Katie they’d love to come back.
- “It should be a longer course, thank you for having us all.” (Tristen E)
- “I loved watching the sun come up over the hills.” (Greg B)
- “I could stay out here for a long time.” (Luke S)
How can you help Aboriginal youth?
Providing practical and meaningful help to Aboriginal people in need has been a major focus of the Sisters of Charity Foundation since its inception 20 years ago. Our Community Grants program helps fund incredible community projects and programs that aim to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal people.
You can help us by making a donation here.
How We Help
Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.