Strong and Proud cultural program expands to Tambellup to help youth

Shannon SmithGreat Southern Herald
Aboriginal youth enjoying the Luke Penn Walk during the Strong and Proud program.
Camera IconAboriginal youth enjoying the Luke Penn Walk during the Strong and Proud program.

Aboriginal youth in Tambellup can now benefit from the Strong and Proud program which has been changing lives in Albany.

The South Coast Natural Resource Management program, which has been available to Albany youth for the past six years, has been expanded to Tambellup with WA Government funding.

The group received $113,000 under the Targeted Participation Program to continue its Albany after-school care and bring a coordinator to Tambellup to launch the service.

The program will engage 80 Aboriginal youths in the two regional towns with culturally appropriate activities that connect them to family, culture and country. It has been developed around the six Noongar seasons and traditional locations.

South Coast NRM sustainable communities program manager Karen Herlihy said they had seen the differences the program had made.

“It has achieved outstanding success in supporting Aboriginal youth to improve school attendance, self-esteem, cultural identity, connection and participation in their community while encouraging healthy and active lifestyle choices,” she said.

“This proven program engages males and females in sport and active recreation, cultural and environmental activities, with key assistance provided by Aboriginal mentors and elders.

“The program’s success has generated ongoing demand in Albany and additional requests to extend it to address the social disadvantages and associated issues affecting Aboriginal youth in Tambellup.”

The students will participate in after-school activities and a weekend camp to get them outdoors.

Strong and Proud project officer Dan Pinner said the activities built self-esteem and helped youth become more involved in the community. “The combination of fun outdoors with cultural and environmental activities is working well,” he said.

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