June 14, 2019

Young adventurers connect and gain confidence

Adjusting to life in a foreign country as a newly arrived migrant or refugee can be difficult and challenging. Newly arrived young people already experiencing all the normal life changes of teen hood can feel even more isolated and displaced than ever. Connection and confidence can shift this.

The importance of supporting newly arrived young people and connecting them with each other throughout these times is recognised by a number of Western based service providers, including Spectrum, who work in collaboration to facilitate a series of activities referred to as Recreational Activity Days (RADs). Held during school holidays, these activities welcome youth participants between the ages of 14 to 21 residing in Brimbank and Maribyrnong.

One of the most popular RAD’s is the adventurous Journey Program; a camp run in partnership with the Doxa Youth foundation, an organisation supporting youth experiencing disadvantage through educational and employment programs.

The 2019 Camp took place on Tuesday 16th to Thursday 18th April at Kooyoora State Park, Mount Kooyoora and was attended by six Spectrum youth clients, accompanied by Emanuel Saakai (Spectrum Youth Settlement Worker). The Park, with its spectacular views, rich variety of plants and wildlife, was the ideal location for the young adventurers to explore, connect and have some fun!

Adventure-filled days went quickly as the camp attendees learned camping fundamentals and hiked various trails, each one leading to breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside from the Melville Caves summit and Mount Kooyoora.

Each night, tents were set up in different locations. Clear skies and warm days made for ideal weather conditions for sleeping under the stars.

While adventuring and exploring, friendships formed and bonds forged; the group established common ground and a sense of belonging and comradery developed.

The RAD’s Journey Program enables newly arrived youth opportunities to connect with each other through sharing experiences, acknowledging the significant importance of supporting them throughout their migrant adolescent journeys.

“I am so excited to be here. This camp has enabled me to get away from the city noise and also to connect with nature. I love it here.” 

“This place (Mt Kooyoora) reminds me of my country, Iraq. I now know I should come here to remind myself of my country when I miss it. It is so beautiful and peaceful here. Thanks to Spectrum and Doxa for this opportunity.”