Participants in the Active Citizen Program travelled over 350km from the Central West to take part in a leadership camp in Jindabyne and Canberra in November last year.
The Active Citizen Program is run by the Central West Police District and is a reward program for selected Aboriginal students in Year 10 from Parkes, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo.
For the first time, participants in the same program from the state’s north at Tweed Heads and Byron Bay, and the state’s south at Lake Illawarra, all came together to share the experience.
Although the group attempted to hike to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, they were stopped by the heavy snow storm and winds, forcing them to turn around.
It was the first time most of the students had seen snow and been in a snow storm was an experience even for the staff.
Nicayden Greenwood, a student from Parkes High School, said the leadership camp was a great experience to be part of.
“We really enjoyed sharing the camp with our friends, but also with others from different parts of the state who have been doing the same program in their communities,” he said.
In Canberra the students took part in a tour of the Royal Military Academy at Duntroon – one of Australia’s premier leadership training facilities. The camp concluded with a visit to the Australian War Memorial, with an Indigenous specific tour and a Last Post Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Logan Biggin from Lake Cargelligo and Kyah Turnbull from Parkes laid a wreath on behalf of the group, while mentor and assistant leader, Tiffiney Dodds from Condobolin, read the Ode.
Nicayden Greenwood said, “it was a learning experience, hearing personal stories of Aboriginal people who served in the wars and how they were treated equally during the war but differently after the war.”
Senior Constable Daniel Greef from the Central West Police District said the tour of the war memorial and ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were moving and appropriate ways to conclude the program.
“Throughout the program the participants represented themselves, their schools and the program very well,” he said.
Thanks to Evolution Mining and the Central West Family Support Group for their support of the 2018 Active Citizen Program.