Inspire and empower Indigenous youth in Australia

Oct 30, 2012

Leadership skills through Stand and Lead 2012

Stand and Lead 2012 was a great success again this year- Desert2Surf's second stand up paddle session at Beswick Falls with indigenous youth from the Beswick Community. In July 2011 Desert2Surf, in partnership with the Roper Gulf Shire, conducted the Stand and Lead Project in Beswick. Beswick lies 110 kms south-east of Katherine on the Central Arnhem Highway, in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The youth leaders involved in Stand and Lead took to stand up paddling flawlessly and on the second day of the project were able to demonstrate their leadership abilities by passing on the skill to younger members of the Beswick Community. The youth leaders are now set to travel south for some outdoor adventure and cultural exchange with Desert2Surf on Victoria’s West Coast in 2012.

The charitable trust donations enabled these sessions, so thank you. By running trips which engage participants in fun, challenging and empowering recreational activities such as surfing we aim to promote the physical and mental health and wellbeing of indigenous youth from disadvantaged communities.

Aug 3, 2012

Stand and Lead Trip

We recently received this update from Deb at Desert2Surf - it's great to hear all of the positive feedback:

We are just back from our FANTASTIC Stand and Lead 2012 trip in the Northern Territory. Everything went according to plan and we can't wait to share it all with you. Having the extra stand up paddle boards was brilliant.  In each of the three sessions the kids were on the boards the whole time. We had to drag them off every session when it was pack up time!

The t-shirts, rashies and hats were awesome and we felt very proud to be wearing them. I hope you like the photo of the girls in the rashies (they are the girls set to come to Victoria in December to surf).

We have so many great shots, I've up loaded three albums (an album from each session) to Desert2Surf's Facebook.  Maybe you could have a quick look at them:

Thank you so much once again for your support. We are so grateful!

Jul 11, 2012

How your Donations Help!

Firstly, having t-shirts, rash vests and hats with the Desert2Surf logo impacts directly on D2S personnel. Practically it promotes the sun safe message when we work with youth on trips and it makes us easily identified in indigenous communities where visitor protocols need to be observed. It also enhances the sense of purpose and teamwork which is essential for achieving our goals. The impact on trip participants is also of a practical nature in that it provides sun protection and easy identification especially when surfing. As well as rewarding participants with something special to keep it promotes a sense of belonging and achievement which is important.

The greatest impact of the funding is being able to continue and expand the ‘Stand and Lead’ project into 2012.  Without the funding the project may not have been able to consolidate and move into the leadership phase.  ‘Stand and Lead’ gives indigenous youth the opportunity to participate in stand up paddling sessions, on billabongs in their own community, where they learn both technique and water safety. Stand up paddling is a perfect flat water alternative and can lead up to ocean surfing, where some participants in the stand up paddling sessions are invited to travel south to surf with D2S on Victoria’s west coast in the warmer months which is very exciting!

Finally, the purchase of two stand up paddle boards means that more youth can participate in D2S sessions and more remote communities can have potentially year-round access to a positive and productive recreational outlet, which is our overall aim.

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone for all of the donations that our making these developments possible!

Apr 26, 2012

Rebecca's Profile

Rebecca has been involved in five Desert2Surf trips. Her first trip was in 2008 when she learned to surf at Torquay. Since then, to her mental tally, she has added over 40 successful rides at beaches including Jan Juc and Anglesea. From the remote community of Minyerri, 270 kilometers south of Katherine,

Rebecca has attended boarding school in both Geelong and Darwin. She hopes to find work at the Hodgson Downs station when she finishes her schooling. Amongst other things she is a deadly kicker of the Aussie Rules football. She loves surfing and is always ready to jump on a plane and head for the swell.

Feb 1, 2012

Amazing support for the GVI Charitable Trust


We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.

This has been by far the most successful period. In six months we have raised nearly as much as we did the whole previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.

During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America. This includes support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now see impoverished students complete primary education to earn qualifications for the first time.

These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.


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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