From the bush to the big smoke

The Central West Police District are running their annual Active Citizen Program for selected Aboriginal year ten students from Parkes, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo High Schools.

It is a reward program for these eleven young people that aims to build leadership skills and awareness in being an active citizen in their community; increasing confidence and employability; and enhancing cultural knowledge.

The program commenced with a trip to Sydney, visiting the GWS Giants AFL Club and watching a training session, getting a tour of their facility at Giants HQ, meeting players and seeing a game.

It was a rare opportunity and the participants really valued the experience.

The Marine Area Command (NSW Water Police) also provided a tour of their facility and some of their boats, which included a ride on Sydney Harbour.

The weather could not have been better and this was the first 'cruise' on Sydney harbour for most of the young people.

Cumberland Council organised a cultural experience at Pemulwuy, which is a suburb that is a practical example of reconciliation and is named after a local Aboriginal warrior - we found out about the warrior and the history of the local area.

The young people painted their first pair of clap sticks, which is a ceremonious occasion and took part in other traditional games and activities.

"This trip was an amazing experience," Senior Constable Daniel Greef said.

"It provided a number of once in a life time opportunities for both the staff and participants."

Throughout the rest of the program, participants take part in various local cultural activities; visiting local businesses and community groups to find out why they give back to their communities; and discovering local career opportunities that may be available to them and building up their skills.

The program concludes with a leadership camp in Jindabyne and Canberra, where the participants will climb to the summit of Mount Kosciusko; visit the Royal Military Academy, Duntroon, and the Australian War Memorial, concluding with a Last Post ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The participants were:

Chief Inspector Dave Cooper, Officer in charge of Parkes

Inspector Shane Jessep, Officer in charge of Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo

Senior Constable Daniel Greef

Senior Constable Emma Dyball

Kevin Read

Taieshia Capewell (Condo)

Shaylee Saunders (Condo)

Chloe Richards (condo)

Brooke Kirby (Lake)

Lillyanna Fell (Lake)

Ben Harris (Lake)

Ajay Goolagong (Parkes)

Emily Helm (Parkes)

Michael Riley (Parkes)

Nicayden Greenwood (Parkes)

Kyah Turnbull (Parkes)