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Spending time outdoors, connecting with your local park or reserve and connecting with others is important for our health and wellbeing. Sometimes when you’re new to a place, it can be hard to make those connections. To encourage migrants and refugees who have recently arrived in Tasmania to visit our parks and reserves, Wildcare Tasmania helps develop young leaders, or champions, from different communities through their Get Outside program.
The Department of Health, through Healthy Tasmania, was pleased to support Wildcare’s latest Get Outside leadership camp. The camp, held in November 2020 on Maria Island, successfully supported 12 young newly arrived migrants and refugees improve their leadership skills and gain the confidence to take groups from their communities to experience Tasmania’s National Parks. It also gave these young leaders many new experiences and an opportunity to make new friends.
Camp highlights included learning about the marine environment, such as whale and dolphin rescue from ranger Tracey-Ann, and how to notify the marine conservation program for advice and instruction.
A night walk, using a torch with red lamps to spot native animals, such as wombats, wallabies, kangaroos and devils was also a unique experience for many of the participants.
Many young leaders gained bushwalking skills on the 12km Bishop and Clerk hike and had a chance to lead a walk during a hike to the Painted Cliffs. They learnt about which foods are good to take bushwalking and enjoyed nutritious food throughout the camp. On the walks they practised introducing themselves to the walking group and pointing out safety issues (such as staying on the track, having a safety person at the front and back of the group and avoiding hazards), and used their communication skills and knowledge about the walk they were hosting - all in a new language!
Some new leaders said about the experience:
“This was my first time ever doing something like this - I am proud of what I have achieved”
“That was so scary - but also fun and I have learned so much”
Healthy Tasmania was please to support the camp and this opportunity to develop the skills of young leaders.