Young Mob Leaders Camp

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During the last week of school on Friday 11th April four staff and fourteen students from the Kool Kids Club were up bright and early to hit the road along the countryside for their first ever Young Mob Leaders Camp in Wellington NSW. After stopping at Bathurst for lunch, the drive had taken over 6 hours to reach their destination- The Wellington Caves.

The group was taken on a tour through the famous Cathedral Cave. Whilst at the bottom it was amazing and the acoustics were incredible. Amongst the group were a few International Tourists as well, the lady who was guiding the tour asked a few of our girls if they would like to sing a song. Evie who was one of the Weave staff and three girls from Kool Kids stood proud and sang The National Anthem in Aboriginal Language which echoed beautifully throughout the whole cave, everyone was quite impressed and very honored to hear them sing.

After the Cave Tour the kids checked out the Japanese Gardens and had a photo taken for the Local Wellington Times after heading out to Lake Burrendong which is where they stayed for the three days. The Kool Kids were joined for dinner with extra staff and another 10 Aboriginal kids from Wellington Barnardos that night, it was a lovely to meet new people and everyone was excited to head to the Dubbo Zoo the next day.

Saturday morning the kids were up early and went for a morning walk spotting Kangaroos and other wild life around the lakeside area. They had breakfast, packed the bus and headed to Dubbo for the day at the Zoo. Both the Kool Kids and Barnardos group arrived together and spent the first part of the morning walking around the circuit taking in all the animals. During lunch they had a surprise visit from David Peachey who came along to personally meet the kids and talk about his experience being a local Wirajduri man from Dubbo. The kids were thrilled to meet him and had many questions to ask.

After saying goodbye to the Barnardos kids after a great day, everyone was back on the bus for a last drive around the Zoo to take photos and then headed back to Wellington to prepare for dinner. For dinner the kids helped cook Chicken and Beef Stir-fry and also gathered wood to make a fire to cook their marshmallows whilst listening to stories before bedtime.

Sunday morning, everyone was up early getting ready and packing everything into the buses before having breakfast and heading out to the Nanima Common. The Barnardos Staff, kids and Elders from the Wellington Community prepared Soup and traditional Johnny Cakes on a fire made by the river for lunch. Aunty Violet Carr who is a well-respected Elder in the community warmly welcomed everyone before having a cultural talk with Paul West who spoke about the area and had some traditional Aboriginal Artifacts that he brought along for the kids to look at. The kids had a fantastic time meeting the Elders and helping prepare the Johnny Cakes and watching them cook on the fire.

After lunch everyone had gathered together by the river for one last time to listen to a group from the Barnardos kids perform a special ‘Heads Shoulders Knees & Toes’ in language as well as the Kool Kids who performed the National Anthem in anguage. Overall it was such an incredible, fun filled cultural experience linking two communities together and sharing differences through learning about their culture.

On behalf of the Kool Kids Team we would like to thank everyone who made this possible:

The Healing Foundation

Vanessa Edwige and Weave Youth & Community Services

Helena Stanley & the Team from Wellington Barnardos

Aunty Violet Carr, Other Local Aboriginal Elders & The Wellington Community.

Richard and the Team from Lake Burrendong

Dubbo Taronga Zoo

Wellington Caves

Paul West

David Peachey

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