January 20 - 26, 2019: Issue 390


Far North West NSW Aboriginal kids’ cool change with first ever beach visit

Absolute joy! - photo by Maryan Heffernan Community Photography

While spending a day at the beach is part and parcel of Australian culture for so many; around 40 indigenous youngsters from Brewarrina, Bourke, Weilamoringle, and Goodooga far North West NSW are set to experience the ocean for the very first time!

From Friday 18th to the 20th January, the kids aged from eight to 15, will discover all that the beach has to offer at South Narrabeen; ably assisted by surf life savers and nippers from South Narrabeen Surf Club with support from Nth Narrabeen, Narrabeen and Collaroy Surf Clubs.  As well as competing in classic Nippers events, learning water safety and doing First aid lessons, Manly Surf School will give the kids surfing lessons.

The look on their faces is heart melting. “There is so much water out there,” one exclaimed.

photo by Maryan Heffernan Community Photography

The initiative is part of the Bush to Beach programme, now in its 13th year, which gives indigenous kids a unique opportunity to learn and explore Sydney’s beach culture.  Made possible entirely by volunteer efforts, donations and sponsorship, the visit  to South Narrabeen Surf Club will see around 1,000 meals being served and around a 1,000 hours of voluntary work provided.

Friday's Lunch at South Narrabeen Surf Club was provided by Manly’s CWA - photo by Maryan Heffernan Community Photography

“The trip is a reward for school attendance and an opportunity for the kids to see that there is another world outside their own community and help develop confidence and self-esteem” said Bush to Beach founder Jack Cannons AM, adding, “Brewarrina and its surrounding areas, including, Weilmoringle, Bourke, Goodooga and other far West NSW towns are disadvantaged by location, droughts, floods and the extreme heat. The trip away provides the children with a special opportunity to explore new places, while learning valuable skills. The educational component of the trip teaches the kids water safety, CPR, basic first aid while making new friends among families from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.”

On Saturday Lunch was provided by Narrabeen Lakes Primary School, providing the local kids a chance to forge friendships with the kids from the bush. That night the students beach baked dinner at South Narrabeen Surf Club. Tonight (Sunday) the group will be having some fun with Karaoke at Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation, Narrabeen

The entire weekend, including transport, outings, giveaways, accommodation, food fresh fruit and drinks are all organised by the Bush to Beach Committee at South Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club, with support from generous sponsors. 

photo by Maryan Heffernan Community Photography

Report by Michelle Myers 

Bush to Beach 2019: Bringing Joy to Youngsters

Photos by Maryan Heffernan Community Photography