Inspire and empower Indigenous youth in Australia


This year’s Stand and Lead (SAL) project, funded by donations to this project, was a huge success and provided the perfect lead into Woorangalook- the Victorian Koorie surfing titles.

Woorangalook will be held in February 2012 and the SAL participants proved themselves to be very worthy candidates to represent our partner Desert2Surf in the titles and negotiations are no under way to make this happen. Moving forward donations to this project will help us run the Woorangalook 2012 project, an amazing opportunity for these Indigenous youth.

In 2011 one representative from our project attended and did incredibly well. In 2012 we aim to have eight representatives! They would be managed for the week leading up to the competition, including surfing lessons, public speaking at a school visit, city sightseeing and at least one overnight home-stay.

All support for this project really is sincerely appreciated and the positive effect this can have on the individuals we work with and beyond in their communities is amazing. Thank you.

Director of Programs Robbo shows off to a croc!
Director of Programs Robbo shows off to a croc!

Our partner in Australia, Desert 2 Surf, recently completed the first part of the Stand and Lead  (SAL) project.

As project director Deb Oliver explains: 'The aim of the SAL project was for Desert2Surf to skill up youth leaders from the Beswick Community in stand up paddling with a view to them being able to coach younger kids and develop an ongoing recreational program of SUPPING in their community. The skill transfer from SUPPING to surfing would also set up the leaders to hit the waves with D2S later in the year and reward them for their commitment to the SAL Project in their Community.

The youth leaders involved took to the SUPPING flawlessly and on the second day of the project did indeed demonstrate their leadership abilities by passing on the skill to younger members of the Community.'

Part two of the SAL Project will see the youth leaders travel south in the summer for surfing and cultural exchange on Victoria's west coast.

Talks are already taking place to discuss how this initiative can be taken into more remote communities as the benefits are clear to see. Thank you so much to everyone how has donated to this project helping to make this happen.

With support from this project our local partner, Desrt2surf, took part in Woorrangalook, the Koori Surfing Titles at Urquarts Bluff on Victoria's West Coast.

Sixteen year old Peter Farell, from the remote indigenous community of Beswick, took part in the under 18 section of the competition and won the visitor's category with three great rides. 

Peter had never surfed before and competed in the event after just three lessons in the days leading up to the competition, absolutely amazing. This goes to show the difference a project like this can make.

Click the link to watch Peter catching a wave!


Due to the incredible support this project has seen our local partners in Australia have been able to widen their horizons and look at new and exciting ways to engage and benefit Indigenous youth in Australia. One of the main aims of the project is to build leadership skills in the kids with whom we work, so the focus of this new initiative is leadership.

In July 2011 a leadership camp will be run at Edith falls (just out of Katherine in the northern territory) the indigenous children will be from two remote communities in the roper gulf shire (Ngukurr and Numbulwar). The kids will travel into Edith falls and receive two days of instruction which will include water safety, first aid and the skills of stand up paddling an inland alternative to surfing. We will all camp at Edith falls, having access to one of the most beautiful waterholes in the NT - which, by the way, we'll be sharing with freshwater crocs!    

By camp's end, the new leaders will be competent stand up paddlers and ready to instruct younger kids back in their communities in stand up paddling. Our partner Desert 2 Surf is working on getting stand up paddle boards permanently located into both communities, at the moment we have one permanently located in Katherine which is shared around the communities.

This is a very exciting step and we look forward to sharing news of its progress, thank you to everyone who has supported this project!

Recently our local partner Desert2Surf supported by the NT’s Roper Gulf Shire, was represented in Woorrangalook (the Koori Surfing Titles) at Urquarts Bluff on Victoria’s West Coast.  Sixteen year old Peter Farrell, from the remote indigenous community of Beswick, competed in the under 18 section of the competition. Peter won the visitor’s category with three great rides.  Peter was selected as a worthy candidate for the trip from the Roper Gulf Shire’s diversionary youth program in Katherine.  Peter had never been to the surf before and competed in the event after just three surfing lessons with Desert2Surf in the days leading up to the competition.  A natural, he stood up in his first lesson and went on to carve up the waves with poise and daring. 

The surfing lessons provided by this project clearly got Peter across the line in the competition, we hope to involve more youth from remote indigenous communities in the 2012 event.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project, your donations are helping these indigenous youth to enjoy new experiences whilst growing in confidence. 

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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