Follow a red dirt road along the coast north of Broome for 100kms and you’ll find the small community of Beagle Bay located on the traditional country of the Nyul Nyul people in Western Australia.
It’s now home to around 350 people, where the pace of life is slow and everyone knows everyone.
5000kms on the other side of Australia, a bus and two planes later, a group of young Indigenous leaders arrive on Gadigal country in Sydney.
For the students from the remote community of Beagle Bay, it’s their first visit to Sydney, first journey on a plane and the first time away from family and friends.
With red dirt still on their shoes, they take their first tentative steps soaking in the sights and sounds of Sydney. Excitement for the week quickly outweighs the nerves, and before too long the group are feeling at home in their lodgings at the NCIE.
“Our schedule for the week is jam-packed with activities. We really haven’t left an hour to spare,” Nicole Burrows, a teacher at Beagle Bay Sacred Heart, said.
The 10 day trip is part of the Beagle Bay Sacred Heart’s ‘Deadly Youth Leaders’ tour and is a chance for students to develop confidence and leadership skills through new experiences, team building, sharing stories and culture.
From the central location in Redfern, the group spent the week visiting and experiencing the many sites of Sydney, starting with the SCG and a Sydney Swans Tour, Taronga Zoo, Google HQ and surf lessons at Bondi Beach.
“They also had a day trip to Canberra to visit Parliament House and a bridge climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” said Nicole.
She explained the week was about opening the student’s eyes to opportunities outside their community and ultimately to help the young adults set goals for the future.
Setting goals was the focus of a workshop with author and NCIE advocate Anita Heiss, one of many activities planned during the group’s stay. In the two hour session, Anita asked teachers and students to create a vision board and share their personal and career goals for the future. The room was full of aspiring doctors, teachers, musicians and AFL stars.
The group of young leaders have big goals and after a week of deadly experiences, they are a step closer to making them a reality.