Indigenous youth learn life and work skills through Beyond Billabong program

Aboriginal Art Directory | 23.07.10

Author: Greg Stolz
News source: The Courier-Mail

Thirteen indigenous teenagers from remote Queensland communities have come to the busy Gold Coast as part of Beyond Billabong, a program aimed at helping them make a better life for themselves and their families.

Troubled and disadvantaged Aboriginal youths and young men learn life and work skills which will hopefully secure them a job.

As part of the four-week program they learn horsemanship and livestock handling, computing, four-wheel-drive skills, leatherwork and indigenous art at Longreach.

The program, started two years ago by North Queensland cattleman Boyd Curran, also includes a week on the Gold Coast where participants are taught skills including team-building, cooking and health and nutrition.

There's even a "city orienteering'' element where the teens have to find their own way back to their Tallebudgera Recreation Camp base from various parts of the glitter strip.

"Being in the 'big smoke' is a big eye-opener for the boys, many of whom have never been outside their communities, let alone somewhere like the Gold Coast,'' Beyond Billabong team leader Luke Miller said.


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