Inspire and empower Indigenous youth in Australia

Dec 9, 2014

Trip South November

Dear Supporter,

Thanks to the generous support of GlobalGiving supporters and the amazing people at Silicon Valley Community Foundation and vmWare, the team at Desert2surf have been able to organise another Trip South for the community! 

For this trip, we have two girls who will be joining the Desert2surf team. We are pretty excited about partnering with NeonTide for this trip. NeonTide is an Australian swimwear brand. It is decking out the trip participants in its new swimwear lines and to quote NeonTide "spoiling the girls rotten" on the Saturday.  We have also set up a meeting with two organisations - Koorie Women Mean Business ( and The Victorian Women’s Trust ( in order for the trip participants to explore some future business pathways. May is a glass artist and Naomi dreams of getting into modelling. As well we have a session planned for May with a renowned glass-blower from St Andrews.

Finally, the girls will get to go on a tour of Melbourne before heading back to Darwin for the end of their trip.
We look forward to bringing you the stories and photo from this trip!
All the best
GVI Charitable Trust


Sep 8, 2014

Trip South 2014 - Surfing and Cultural Exchange

Dear Supporter,

The Trip South 2014 was a huge success. Your donations covered the total cost for our two 12 year old boys we mentioned in our last report (Gregory and Victor) and one adult, from a remote indigenous community in the Northern Territory, to participate in the Desert2Surf trip - Trip South 2014.

As per our previous report, we had hoped Gregory's mother, Maryanne, would join the trip. She was unable to this time, however Samuel, father of Gregory and uncle of Victor, chaperoned the boys for the duration of the trip. Samuel is a respected and exemplary Community member. He is in line to be an Elder of his Community. He and his wife both have jobs and hold positions of responsibility within the Minyerri Community. They model excellent family and community values. Desert2Surf was privileged to have Samuel participate in the trip and provide very positive feedback on the trip’s organisation and objectives

These costs included:

  • Air fares
  • Bus and vehicles 
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Entertainment.

As well as enabling Desert2Surf to teach trip participants to surf, the donation also facilitated Desert2Surf in providing trip participants with experiences which mainstream children take for granted. Ultimately Desert2Surf aims to build the capacity of remote and disadvantaged indigenous youth by building their self-confidence and physical skills while nurturing their leadership qualities. 

The surfing built the children’s self-confidence, self-esteem and self-belief and both expressed a desire to fulfil any Desert2Surf requirements in order to participate in future trips. One requirement is regular school attendance and commitment to their education generally. 

The trip also involved the boys to visit a mainstream school in Melbourne, Victoria. The school visit facilitated a rewarding cultural exchange experience. The boys thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Kinglake Primary School students and being included in their classroom and playground activities.

Thank you for supporting this project and making this trip happen. We are now excitedly planning our next trip; Stand and Lead 2014.

All the best

Desert2suft and GVI Charitable Trust


Jul 1, 2014

Trip South 2014 - Selected Youth

Dear Supporter, 

It's that time of the year! The approaching trip – Trip South 2014 – involves two twelve year old boys from a remote, indigenous community in the Northern Territory travelling to Victoria to surf and to engage in cultural exchange activities.

The two boys – Gregory and Victor - were selected for Trip South 2014 based on the following criteria:

  • They demonstrated enthusiasm and initiative when they participated in stand up paddling sessions with Desert2Surf at Ranyon Gorge.
  • Due to geographical isolation they are seriously disadvantaged in terms of access to and availability of recreational and sporting opportunities. Ranyon Gorge is a stunning water hole approximately 35 kilometers from Minyerri Community where the boys live and attend school. Minyerri Community lies 273 kilometers south-east of Katherine, the nearest main town and regional centre for the Rivers District.
  • The boys are excellent students whose school attendance is impeccable and who try their very best with all their school work.

Part of the Trip South 2014 planning is that Gregory’s mother, Maryanne, will accompany the boys. Maryanne is an exemplary Community member. Gregory’s father is in line to be an Elder of his Community. Both have jobs and hold positions of responsibility within the Minyerri Community. They model excellent family and community values. Maryanne has never flown in an aeroplane or travelled outside of the Northern Territory.

The Minyerri Council is very supportive of Desert2Surf and welcomes the opportunities it provides to Minyerri Community members. As well as facilitating communication between Desert2Surf and the trip participants during the planning phase, it also provides essential logistical support when trips are running. 

As well as teaching trip participants to surf, Desert2Surf provides experiences which mainstream children take for granted. Ultimately Desert2Surf aims to build the capacity of remote and disadvantaged indigenous youth by building their self-confidence and physical skills while nurturing their leadership qualities. 

Thank you for giving Gregory and Victor this opportunity.

All the best

Desert2Suft & GVI Charitable Trust


May 1, 2014

Support of the community

Dear Supporter, 

It has been a quiet beginning of the year but we are working towards our next trip! The Desert2Surf team are currently trying to organise for two 12 year old boys, from a remote community in the NT who previously stand up paddled with D2S, to visit Melbourne paid for by your donations for surfing, football and a school visit, possibly accompanied by their mother.

Once we have this trip confirmed, we will be in touch to do a little introduction about the boys and talk about the plans for the trip.

We have also been seeing some great community support for Desert2 surf and the work being done. The CEO of their Community has been is touch, confirming his support of the trips, which is fantastic and helps the trip and project to gain momentum and become a reality! 

Thank you for continuing to support this project.

All the best

GVI Charitable Trust and Desert2surf


Feb 4, 2014

The Joseph Family Stand Up Paddling Trip

Dear Supporter,

On this Desert2Surf trip seven members of the Joseph family participated in stand up paddling at Beswick Falls, a remote and very beautiful billabong with waterfalls, near the Wugulaar Community in the Northern Territory, Australia.

No one from the Joseph family had ever stand up paddled before and all family members thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The teenage boys were asked to help with the logistics of the trip – carrying boards and other equipment, cooking lunch and watching out for the younger children – they demonstrated great enthusiasm and were highly motivated to help.

Desert2Surf will now liaise with the Wugulaar Community to track the teenagers’ commitment to school and Community life with a view to involving them in a surfing trip to Victoria.

The following Desert2Surf objectives for the Stand and Lead 2012 – Trip South were met:
Desert2Surf generally promoted the physical and mental health and general welfare of young indigenous people living in isolated and disadvantaged communities
Desert2Surf provided young indigenous people with the opportunity to travel outside their community and participate in activities conducive to their physical and mental health and well-being
Desert2Surf assisted indigenous youth to develop communication and leadership skills to use in their communities.

Thank you for all the support you have given these communities in 2013 and we look forward to catching up with more trips in 2014.

All the best



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Project Leader

Steve Gwenin

Field Director
Exeter, Devon United Kingdom

Where is this project located?

Map of Inspire and empower Indigenous youth in Australia