Project #6720

Inspire and empower Indigenous youth in Australia

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust

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


Jessica and Abie getting the hang of the paddling.
Jessica and Abie getting the hang of the paddling.

Dear Supporter, 

The approaching trip, Trip South 2015, involves two fourteen-year-old girls and a nineteen-year-old woman from remote, indigenous communities in the Northern Territory travelling to Victoria to surf and to engage in cultural exchange activities.

The two younger girls, Jessica and Abie, were selected for Trip South 2015 based on the following criteria:

  • They demonstrated enthusiasm and initiative when they participated in stand up paddling sessions with Desert2Surf at Copperfield Dam earlier this year.
  • Due to geographical isolation they are seriously disadvantaged in terms of access to and availability of recreational and sporting opportunities. Jessica lives at Gorge Camp which is located 30km east of Katherine, which is itself a small and isolated town in the Northern Territory. Her cousin Abie lives in Elliott which is significantly more isolated than Gorge Camp lying 536km south of Katherine.
  • The girls are excellent students whose school attendance is impeccable and who try their very best with all their school work.

Part of the Trip South 2015 planning is that Jessica’s sister/Abie’s cousin, Wyonna, will lead the trip. Wyonna is an exemplary Gorge Community member and a wonderful role model for the younger girls. Wyonna has participated in several Desert2Surf trips, in the Northern Territory, previously.

Having finished high school in Katherine two years ago she has been employed by the Nitmiluk National Park – Parks and Wildlife Commission NT as a tour guide in the dry season. She is fully committed to her job brings great pride to her family/community. She has admirable career aspirations and Desert2Surf hopes that the opportunity to lead Trip South 2015 will shore up both her personal and career goals.

We are really looking forward to this trip, scheduled to start on 22 November, and look forward to showing Jessica, Abie and Wyonna Melbourne and Anglesea where they will be surfing, participating in school visits, sightseeing and cultural exchanges. Things that most youth take for granted. 

Thanks for your donations, which make live changing trips like this possible!

With Gratitude, 

Deb, Desert2Surf

The 3 young women got the hang of it!
The 3 young women got the hang of it!


Dear Supporter, 

In June 2015, Desert2Surf embarked on an epic trip to three remote and disadvantaged communities in the Northern Territory, Australia. 

The three communities that we went to this year were Wugularr, Minyerri and Gorge Camp. In total, we took out 22 participants to billabongs in the general vicinity of the communities. The donations were used to supply transport, equipment, food and drinks throughout the day.

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.During the sessions we instruct the participants in stand up paddling, we encourage team building throughout the day and engage them in leadership activities.  

As well as having a day of great fun in the water, the stand up paddling sessions build all of the participant’s self-confidence, self-esteem and self-belief. Every participant expressed a desire to fulfil any Desert2Surf requirements in order to participate in future trips. Some of these requirements are regular school attendance and commitment to their education generally.

We met participants who are great candidates for our trip down South at the end of the year and are very eager to see how they grow and progress as both team players and leaders in the coming months. 

Thank you for your generous support that allows us to provide opportunities, skills and fun to communities that are largely ignored. 

With Gratitude, 

GVI-Charitable Trust



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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

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