This Page is about events/activities that our team (Dream, Impact, Inspire) either organised or participated. 

 February - Gove Tennis competition
We drove into Gove town with few kids to assist at the junior tennis tournament. It was a fantastic & very exciting experience for them. At the end of the 2 days competition; they looked more confident, less stressed,  socially interactive. More importantly, they learnt a new skill in a discipline they barely play and won few prizes.


March - BasketBall drills with Sydney King players

Basketball is very popular as a casual way to exercise and as a competitive team sport. It is a fast-action game with lots of running and jumping, and provides a good physical workout. The youth in remote communities enjoyed learning from 2 professional players from the Sydney Kings team. They who came up here to teach few drills to local kids & talk about the Health benefits playing Basketball.
It provided a whole lot of fun to my kids. They learnt & were able to socialize and meet other people with similar interests. And It is always fun to meet likeminded people.


 MAY 12 - Yilpara Footie Comp

This week, our team helped transporting a group of young Aboriginal from DHALINIBUY to YILPARA (also known as Baniyala) for a footie game. Yilpara is a community of approx 150 people nestled in North East Arnhem Land of Australia. It was our first trip to this community. I knew a bit about it, but during the trip, I learnt a lot from the kids. It took us 2h drive to get there. Using the passion Young Aboriginal have for rugby and Aussie football, the event aimed at attracting the kids to Yilpara to encourage behavioural change, develop positive attitude and help them to finish school to be able to secure employment. Clontarf foundation organized the Footie event. A Teacher from Yirrkala Homelands School and myself assisted as part of the existing collaboration to render better services to people living in the homelands.

 Clontarf is a Foundation that exists to promote the education, discipline, self-esteem, life skills and employment prospects of Aboriginal people. By doing so, this equips them to fully participate in the society in a meaningful way. The game was played at the airstrip. Sometimes during the game, we had to stop for the plane to land.  At the end of the day, we had a meeting with all the kids who came from different homelands at the local school.  We left the community late in the afternoon, drove the kids to their homeland before getting back home. It was a long and tiring day, but I was very glad to have helped. I like the fact that every day provides me with a different experience that even most of the people reading this blog know little about. Enjoy the pics! 

April 22, 23, 24, - DRUMBEAT TRAINING
Our youth team has attended a rewarding training in Darwin City. The program is called DRUMBEAT (Discovering Relationships Using Music - Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes & Thoughts) It is really important and critical to the job that we do with Indigenous. It promotes social understanding and connection through a team drumming experience. Being Pro DJ and loving Music, we enjoyed the training and learned a lot.
DRUMBEAT explores relationship issues such as: - Peer Pressure - Bullying - Dealing with emotions - Identity - Social responsibility – TeamworkDRUMBEAT was developed in Western Australia in 2003 as means to engage young Aboriginal men. It is now taught and used by young people and adults across Australia in schools, youth services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, child protection...
DRUMBEAT is a flexible program that combines experiential learning with cognitive behavioural therapy, and engages young people and adults who may be anxious or resistant to 'talk based' therapies. It is a therapeutic program using rhythm, developed by Holyoake to reach alienated young people of those at risk of problematic health and social outcomes. During the training that involved 22 participants coming from different Indigenous remote areas, participants lifted their self-esteem, learnt to work cooperatively and we were exposed to the therapeutic and recreational benefits of music. My colleague and I ordered a set of 12 drums that we will use to facilitate the training that we will provide in our work environment. Another adventure! Another experience! Another lesson learnt! 
PS: Check the clip on VIDEOS link.

            July 10 – Bark petition event in Yirrkala.
The Yirrkala bark petitions 1963 are historic Australians documents that were the first traditional documents prepared by Indigenous Australians that were recognised by the Parliament, and are thus the first documentary recognition of Indigenous people in Australian law. The 50th Celebration was held in Yirrkala to recognize the historic 1963 Yirrkala bark petitions that triggered the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The DiiNTy youth helped transporting youth  for the event. Assisted in getting things organized such as musical equipement, stage, food for the homelands people… There were severals important figures such as the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd whom we had the chance to meet and chat with for few minutes...      Enjoy the pictures

August - Athletics Day in Nhulunbuy 
Nhulunbuy high school (located in the mining town of Gove) in Association with Yirrkala Homelands Schools organized an‘’Athletics day’’. our team was called in as part of an ongoing collaboration between working to service the indigenous people living in the homelands. We brought  in 40 youth from 4 homelands to compete against other schools in the area.
The objectives of the Athletics were to promote:

 - Respect and understanding of self and other cultures. 

- Social maturity & inclusion.

- Healthy and fitness lifestyle practises.

- Personal sporting skills and knowledge.

- Development of career opportunities.

Mentioning, the last aim, I recalled how proud and happy I was to see the homelands youth during the track and field activity. There is definitely the next Usain Bolt out here. The kids are just so fast that they broke all the school records in javelin, 100m, 200 and the relay races.
This Athletics gave me some new ideas about our next activities in the homelands, on how to help reinforce existing sporting skills in the youth. More pictures are on the Photos section.

 9 -12 August - Garma Festival
The Garma Festival is Australia's Leading Cultural Exchange event. It is held annually at a remote site known as Gulkula; a traditional meeting ground in East Arnhem Land. The festival drags thousands of people worldwide, who are eager to learn about indigenous cultures & traditions. 
The festival offers a variety of activities during 4 days going fromTraditional dance, Music, Arts, Spear making, exhibition stands, basket weaving to youth forums & more.
The location of the festival is at 25 minutes drive from Yirrkala where I live. It is the road that I drive through while going to work in the homelands every week. Laynhapuy, The Corporation I work for, was actively involved in the organization. As youth mentor, I helped:
-Transporting youth from Yirrkala to Garma site 
- Building a stand where photos of our activities were displayed.
- Contributing to Youth forum (Empowerment through Music, Sports & Mentoring)
- Engaging young people in cultural exchange activities.
- Teaching Djing skills to Melbourne and Homelands Youth (4 groups of 8 young people for a session of 1hour per group)
- Providing refreshments & finger food at the stand.

 13, 14 September
 Alcohol & binge drinking forum in Darwin
The new freshly signed workers, Josiah from Wandawuy & Kelvin  from Dhalinybuy attended a 2 days Alcohol and binge Drinking Forum in Darwin.  The boys were accompanied and mentored by Charly templar. The forum was held at Palmerston recreation center, there were over 110 young people aged from 15 to 22 years old. They all came from schools across Australia to discuss the issue of alcohol & binge drinking that affects youth .

The event was organized by Anglicare & Headspace in partnership with AYF. It was supported by the Australian Government. The panel featured key speakers from the NT government, the NT Police and members of various organizations such as Red dust, Team health, HelloSundayMorning & Early intervention ..One of the defining moment was when the NT Police sergeant mentioned that there were over 50 car accidents this year  and 75% were alcohol related and the drivers were most of the time teenagers.  The hall became quiet for several minutes... 

The boys participated in various activities such as Graffiti workshop, round table discussion & DRUMBEAT. They learnt how to Discover Relationship Using Music Beat emotion Attitude & Thought.  They explored issues such as:
peer pressure, bullying, social responsibility and teamwork.
In the afternoon, they discussed the issue with other youth, gave feedback on youth resources that can be explored to alleviate the problem. They also shared their stories with other students about the effects of binge drinking in Arnhem land.
At the end of the forum, the boys spoke to a TV crew about making healthy choices:

Josiah: ‘ I am very happy that I had the chance to come here. I learnt a lot and I will share the stories with my community members’’

Kelvin: ‘Thanks to my mentor Charly for coming here with us. I liked meeting everyone here and working with others. The forum gave me ideas that I will share with my friends back in my homeland. 

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