Indigenous kids teaching military about culture and courage

Indigenous kids teaching military about culture and courage

Abseiling down this sea cliff, Indigenous kids are teaching the Australian military about culture and courage

Posted on 26.10.2020

It is a spectacular view most people would be content just to look at.

“I was leaning back and then I slipped and then I was hanging upside down for a bit,” he said.

“But then I got the hang of it.”

The activity at the Exercise Thura Yura camp is meant to do just that — help soldiers and Indigenous youths from South Australia’s Spencer Gulf work through anxiety and fear.

“It harnesses it, it harnesses your fear or something,” Zeke said.

But the camp does more than that.

Now expanded and in its third year, the three-day program at Whaler’s Way on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula aims to flip the script and get local Aboriginal communities teaching Australian Defence Force personnel about their country and culture.

Adnyamathanha Kokatha woman Darralee Gibson, who came with Zeke and others from Whyalla, said the young people loved being listened to.

“Knowing that [soldiers] are learning from them as well, you know, they’re pretty overwhelmed about it,” she said.

“They’re excited. You can see they are.

“Some of our kids suffer anxiety wicked and this is just a first step for them, to meet these guys and actually to do the activities.”

Key points:

  • A cultural exchange camp for Aboriginal youths and ADF personnel is in its third year
  • Campers undertake activities designed to help them understand courage, anxiety and fear
  • Defence says the program has been an eye opener for military personnel

“Everyone is scared doing what they’re doing, both my soldiers and the kids,” he said.

“But learning to overcome those initial reactions and knowing that you can overcome them and achieve success, I think that’s one of the benefits we can provide the kids.” (Major Dominic Lopez)

ABC News





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