As a volunteer organization run by people who are fully engaged in employment or child-rearing, we are unable to put energy into both running programs and fund-raising for programs. We operate on the smell of an oily rag, and what we do is very limited in a range of ways.
Desert2surf has awesome relationships with a number of remote communities in the Katherine area in the Northern Territory, and we have excellent connections with the surf industry on Victoria’s West Coast, which have enabled us to offer amazing experiences to very disadvantaged children for ten years now. However, we are running out of steam!
There are some seriously deserving people who we still want to bring down to Victoria, but right now that is looking increasingly unlikely.
We have recently used your donations to contribute towards the 2017 Stand and Lead trip.
As well as enabling Desert2Surf to teach trip participants to stand up paddle, 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 stand up paddling at Ballaglen built the participant’s self-confidence, self-esteem and self- belief and every participant expressed a desire to fulfil any Desert2Surf requirements in order to participate in future trips. One requirement is regular school/work attendance and commitment to their education generally.
One previous Desert2Surf trip participant and leader, Marcianne, engaged in discussions with Desert2Surf and Minyerri adults around leading Trip South 2017. Trip South 2017 would entail youth from Minyerri visiting Victoria to go surfing in December. One Minyerri adult, Maryanne, expressed a wish to chaperone/lead Trip South 2017 with Marcianne.
Desert2Surf had been liaising with the Teachabout school program manager since Stand and Lead 2016, to organise another co-facilitated stand-up paddle session at Ballaglen in 2017. However, due to unanticipated delayed NAIDOC celebrations, this did not eventuate. The connection to this organisation is important and Desert2Surf will continue to cultivate this relationship and look forward to future collaborations.
The Desert2Surf team also travelled to Barunga and Beswick Communities, the sites of previous D2S trips. It was a valuable opportunity to reconnect with individuals in these communities and consolidate relationships.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of Stand and Lead 2017 was the inclusion of two new and fabulous Desert2Surf volunteers, Fi and Jessie. Desert2Surf hugely appreciated their contribution on this trip and hopes to share many more trips with them in the future.
Desert2Surf Building Partnerships & Relationships!
By Deb Oliver | Desert2Surf, Administration and Advocacy
2015 Stand and Lead trip
Whilst Desert2Surf is currently financially unable to run many of its regular trips, such as Stand and Lead and the Trip South, its members have been active in the community building partnerships and relationships.
1. Desert2Surf and the Institute of Koorie Education
On Monday 1st May three Desert2Surf members met with the coordinator of the Institute of Koorie Education at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds, Victoria. The Institute of Koorie Education provides uniquely structured degree courses which cater for the needs of regional and remote Indigenous students. The degree courses include fields such as nursing, teaching, social work, natural & cultural resource management and law.
Part of their study involves students travelling to Deakin University six times each year, from their regional and remote communities, for intensive two-week tutorial blocks.
The Institute of Koorie Education provides a range of specialist support services for students when they are on-campus. These services aim to help students acquire and use those skills, attitudes and resources they need in order to gain maximum educational and personal benefit from their time at Deakin University.
Institute of Koorie Education personnel are very keen to bring Desert2Surf on board to provide challenging, motivating and fun outdoor recreational activities for students during their on-campus visits. Surfing, abseiling and cross-country skiing are among the activities that Desert2Surf can offer. Knowing the incredible value that these outdoor experiences bring to indigenous youth, Desert2Surf is very keen to get on board!
A proposal is currently being prepared to commence the partnership process between the Institute of Koorie Education and Desert2Surf.
2. Desert2Surf and Volunteers
Desert2Surf was recently approached by two delightful young people who are keen to become volunteers. After attending Desert2Surf’s 2016 art exhibition and fundraiser - Making Desert Dreams Come True – Michael and Fi resolved to find a way to get involved with and make a positive commitment to Desert2Surf.
As well as offering to contribute their time and enthusiasm on Desert2Surf trips, they have made a proposal to assist with fundraising using online Crowdfunding, with which they have experience.
3. Desert2Surf and Trip Planning
Traditionally, Desert2Surf runs a winter program (Stand and Lead) and a summer program (Trip South) each year. However, due to resourcing constraints, we may have to run only one trip this year, choosing between the two. The Stand and Lead trips are really valuable in reconnecting with families and communities and selecting participants for Trip South. The Trip South trips are also really valuable because they offer kids from remote communities a chance to enjoy experiences that mainstream kids take for granted. We hope to make a concrete decision soon.
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