Camp encourages Koori youth to speak up

A group of well-known Aboriginal media personalities, performers and cultural experts will run a series of workshops today and tomorrow in Sydney to support Koori youth to find their voice. 

The workshops are part of a two day camp for Aboriginal youth from the Sydney area who have successfully completed World Vision’s Young Mob Leaders Program this year. 

“Young Mob is run with local schools and helps Koori youth to develop personal and professional skills such as conflict management and public speaking, to assist them to thrive in the education system, gain employment and be positive role models in their communities,” World Vision Australia spokesperson Loretta Hoban said. 

“This week’s camp is an extension of Young Mob and was developed in consultation with the youth to further improve the skills they have developed during the year. It is also an opportunity to celebrate and exchange knowledge about Aboriginal culture.” 

Ms Hoban said participants will choose the workshops they would like to take part in, and at the end of the two days will showcase what they’ve learnt in front of invited family, friends and community members. 

“We have an outstanding group of trainers for the camp including radio and TV presenter Lola Forester, comedian Sean Choolburra, Cesar Bassi from hip hop duo CuzCo and local Aboriginal artist Jim Simons,” she said.

“The owners of Redfern’s much-loved Purple Goanna cafe will also present training sessions on bush tucker and cooking.” 

Kimberly Ella completed the Young Mob program in 2008 and is now training to be a Young Mob facilitator. 

“At first I didn’t want to do the program. But I sat in on the sessions each week and slowly started to develop my confidence. By the end of the program I felt good about who I was and could get up and speak in front of people,” she said. 

One of the biggest challenges for Kimberly was overcoming the barrier of shame. Kimberly describes the barrier of shame as “this thing that holds you back from reaching your full potential”. 

Following Kimberly’s participation in Young Mob she presented at Reconciliation Week and attended the World Indigenous Conference on Education (WIPCE) in Melbourne in 2008. Kimberly would now like to be a nurse but her main goal is to make a difference in her community so they have a brighter future. 

The Young Mob Leaders Program has been running for two years with local schools and youth groups. Since February 2010 the program has engaged more than 50 youth throughout the Sydney region. Due to its success, the program will be introduced in regional communities in NSW next year. 

Loretta Hoban is available for media interviews. If you would like to arrange an interview or pic op, please contact Sacha Myers on 0457 926 018 or Katie Maynes on 0400 631 332. 

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