Project #6720

Inspire and empower Indigenous youth in Australia

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Dear Supporters, 

Today we'd like to share with you some feedback from one of the participants on our Trip South 2015. Christina* was 16 at the time of participating in the trip, this is what she had to say. 

"I was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in the Desert2Surf trip which took me down to Victoria with my cousin and Mum for a week to participate in activities that included road trips along part of the Great Ocean Road, visiting chocolate factories, storytelling and two-way learning between my family and our wonderful host family, yoga, creative thinking, shopping in the city, sightseeing and most importantly, surfing plus much, much more. 

This trip was one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on still up to this day a year on. I learnt so much more about my country and some of the amazing people living in it, and more importantly myself. This trip took me out of my small outback town in the Northern Territory and down to a lovely city with amazing coastal beaches in the outer suburbs.

What made the trip even more enjoyable is that I was able to experience this with my best friend - my Mum - and one of my closest cousins, and we were able to chose some of the activities we would like to try. We were encouraged to feel that this was 'our' trip, and that made us feel more comfortable and made the trip very enjoyable being able to have our own input.

We had such an amazing time with Deb and Robbo and their family and friends, and I am so grateful and lucky to be able to have participated in the Desert2Surf trip, and I would highly recommend this trip to anyone else who is invited to participate in the coming years. 

I thank both Deb and Robbo and their families for taking us into their homes and making us feel very welcome. It is a trip that I will never forget and will be forever grateful for as it helped me build my confidence, self-worth, determination and mindset, and have a more open outlook on life and this beautiful country I'm glad to call home."

Thank you so much to you, our donors, for making trips like this possible. These trips are funded 100% by donations so experiences like this wouldn't be possible without you!

With Gratitude, 


*not her actual name

Getting the hang of the board!
Getting the hang of the board!

Dear Supporters, 

The Stand and Lead trip this July was a great success this year. It was supposed to be a much smaller trip this year due to lack of available funding but that changed after a chance encounter with Teachabout who happened to be in the area at the same time!

Teachabout offered the assistance of five volunteers to assist with the transportation of the kids as well as help us supervise the paddling. This meant that we were able to take more kids with us than we were planning and has also given rise to the potential to develop a wonderful partnership. 

On this Desert2Surf (D2S) trip, two adults from the remote Northern Territory of Minyerri travelled to a local billabong, Ballaglen, with 13 children aged 4-16 years, volunteers from Teachabout and our staff, to participate in our annual stand up paddling session with D2S. Of the participants, six children had been on trips with us previously and two of them have even joined us on previous surfing trips down south!

As well as providing great fun and teaching the skills of stand up paddling, the session aimed to build the children's self-confidence, self-esteem and self-belief. In order to model healthy life choices, a healthy lunch and healthy snacks are also provided. 

All of the children had a wonderful time learning to paddle, being together in the water and helping each other. The older children all expressed a strong desire to fulfil the D2S requirements in order to participate in future trips. These requirements include regular school attendance and an overall commitment to their education. 

It is so wonderful to see the children having fun, being active and starting to believe in themselves and their abilities and getting excited about reaping the rewards from their hard work and commitment to their education. 

Thank you for your donations, which made this trip possible!

With Gratitude, 


Mastering standing up!
Mastering standing up!
All of the participants who joined us this year
All of the participants who joined us this year
Happy faces
Happy faces


Dear Supporter, 

In April, we hosted an art exhibition as a fund raising event for our Stand up and Lead trip this year.

It featured original canvases painted by indigenous artists from the Northern Territory in Australia. The canvases were all donated to Desert2Surf for the fundraiser. The donations came from various sources, including the artists themselves, an art dealer in Katherine and friends of Desert2Surf. The exhibition also included some mounted photographs, taken by indigenous youth from the remote Northern Territory Community of Minyerri, which were a part of Desert2Surf’s earlier PhotoVoice Project. Also included in the exhibition were two surfboards, painted with original indigenous designs, from Desert2Surf’s earlier Surfing Deadly Desert Dreams Project.

The exhibition was sponsored by the owners of The Folk Alley Café (Deborah and Shaun) in St Andrews Victoria, who generously donated the gallery space and all the logistics vis a vis the promotion, sales and distribution of artworks after the exhibition closed.

An opening night was held on Saturday 9 April which was very well attended. Attendees were incredibly interested, not only in Desert2Surf but also in The GVI Trust and the way in which it has supported Desert2Surf so strongly over the years.

The absolute highlight of the opening night was the presence of two of Desert2Surf’s previous trip participants – Kahn and Tilesha. Both teenagers wanted to attend the opening to ‘help out’ on the night as a way of showing their appreciation for the many surfing trips they have had with Desert2Surf. Not only did they help with serving food and handing out programs, but Kahn also treated the audience to a fabulous performance on the didgeridoo. Kahn is a student of the world-renown indigenous musician Bart Willoughby (1993 Inaugural Indigenous Aria Australian Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for his Outstanding Contribution to Indigenous Music in Australia, a finalist in the Melbourne Music Prize and in 2014 received an ATSIC – music fellowship through the Australia Council).

By the end of the exhibition period all artworks, except for four photographs, were sold! The photographs are about to be gifted to the photographers, youth from the Minyerri Community. All money raised from the exhibition will go directly into Desert2Surf programs for kids. Specifically, Desert2Surf is still hoping to raise sufficient funds (AU$8,000) for the 2016 Stand and Lead program.

Desert2Surf is incredibly grateful to the people who donated the artworks for the exhibition, the Folk Alley Café for whole-heartedly supporting the exhibition and the people who so generously purchased the artworks.

If you would like to help us make our 2016 Stand up and Lead trip a reality, please consider making a donation. 

With Gratitude, 



Practicing the technique on the beach
Practicing the technique on the beach

Dear Supporter, 

In mid-February the Desert 2 Surf team was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a very special trip. 

On this trip Desert2Surf conducted a one-day surfing event at Point Roadknight on Victoria's Surf Coast. The trip included seven participants, four out who surfed on the day, from Homeland Communities connected to the remote Northern Territory community of Utopia. The surfing event with Desert2Surf was organised by the leader of a Northern Territory Government Gardens and Nutrition programme. The Garden's and Nutrition program facilitated a trip to Victoria for participants to view a variety of garden settings aroud Melbourne. 

The surfing was fantastic! All four participants got some quality time in the surf and were able to develop their confidence and skills. It was the first time in the sea for all four surfers and they were amazing! Feedback from the Gardens and Nutrition program leader was that the surfing was the highlight of the trip for the young women!

We were incredibly grateful on the day to have the support of four volunteers. This meant there was a one on one interaction and teaching which maximized success for the surfers and provided the opportunity for some great role modelling, especially from the young women volunteers, Jessica and Nicole. 

We were able to provide a 'home garden' lunch for the group by serving home-grown and made tomato and zucchini soup. The soup was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the recipe was snapped up by everyone who were keen to grow/ cook it for themselves!

Desert2Surf is hoping that it can continue a relationship with both the Utopia Homelands group and the Gardens and Nutrition program personnel within the Northern Territory government.

With Gratitude,

The Desert 2 Surf team

Look at that smile!
Look at that smile!
The whole crew!
The whole crew!


Dear Supporter, 

For the first time in 7 years D2S has had to postpone our Trip South 2015. It was with heavy hearts that we had to do so, but we had no alternative. 

The organisation for the trip had gone smoothly and everything was working out well until about 10 days before the trip was scheduled to take place. The trips designated team leader realised that taking part in the trip would seriously conflict with several pre-existing commitments that she had made. These commitments revolved around her study and work placement, her community sporting involvement and a family obligation. The younger participants were unable to participate without a leader. 

D2S has fully internalised that when working with older youth, who might be working and studying, that a more thorough screening process vis a vis availability is necessary. Even though we had adult consultation, it was only peripheral. In future, we need to make plans directly with a responsible adult who can help us confirm the availability of the youth. 

Once the disappointment of postponing the trip began to diminish, we realised that having to postpone a trip because the youth leader had work and study commitments is actually a cause for some celebration! One of Desert 2 Surf's aims is to up-skill the youth with whom it works to be competitive in the job market and in seeking further education 

Luckily, we were able to get refunds and flight vouchers for everything that we had booked, which was a huge relief!

Next time we'll share news with you about what we decided to do in place of the Trip South! 

Until then, thank you for your continuous and generous support in 2015! We couldn't do it without you. 

All the best for a wonderful festive season and prosperous new year. 

With Gratitude, 

Desert 2 Surf



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Organization Information

Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Location: Exeter, Devon - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Kate Robey
Exeter, Devon United Kingdom
$60,495 raised of $67,000 goal
246 donations
$6,505 to go
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