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Opportunities to Discover Ancient Australia in Outback NSW

Kate and Clint Miller have just returned from four days journeying through outback Australia. The purpose of this visit was to establish a program for a Tasmanian school, which will connect them with a community in outback NSW and provide an insight into local Aboriginal culture, history, traditions and life in rural Australia. All up, we crossed over 1000 kilometres in just two and a half days- the bulk on red dirt roads.

We were extremely fortunate to travel with Robert Biggs, and local Aboriginal man, Ricky Mitchell. Robert runs the Mungo Youth Project and Ricky is a Community Projects Coordinator for the World Heritage listed Mungo National Park.

Arriving to hot, dry weather in Mildura, we headed straight out to Mungo to learn about the ancient Aboriginal history of the region. This also provided a great opportunity to consider student accommodation- in a selection of converted shearers’ quarters.

The next morning we were up early to explore significant indigenous sites at Mungo, before heading to Menindee. We arrived in time to attend the local school assembly welcoming the Governor of NSW, before settling into accommodation in a renovated train carriage.

We were lucky to be invited to join an evening of celebration at Menindee also attended by the Governor, and the production of ‘Weeping Cloud’. ‘Weeping Cloud’ tells the story of a local Menindee elder who was part of the Stolen Generation. It was beautifully performed by students and staff of Menindee Central, who were joined by members of the local community in the choir. Read more

Destination Dreaming’s Clint Miller Kicks Off the First Beyond Billabong Program for 2012

[imageright]http://destinationdreaming.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Indigenous_Education_BB.jpg[/imageright]Destination Dreaming’s Clint Miller is off on his first program for the year today- headed for Longreach to lead the first Beyond Billabong vocational training and life skills program for 2012.

Clint will spend the next month leading 4 mentors and 12 young indigenous men on a residential program, aimed at empowering the young men to make positive life choices through the development of life skills.

The vocational learning elements are based around rural operations, including horsemanship, leatherwork and vehicle operations.

Clint is looking forward to meeting the young men from northern Queensland tomorrow and kicking off the first program for the year.

Sad Farewell At the Conclusion of the Latest Beyond Billabong Program

It was a sad farewell for Destination Dreaming Program Manager Kate Miller this week, following the conclusion of the second Beyond Billabong program for young indigenous women. Kate led a month-long life skills and training program for 12 girls from Mornington Island, Normanton, Mount Isa and Murgen. Highlights included mustering cattle on horseback in Longreach, cooking homemade apple pies at the local school and scaling a dam wall in a troopy.

After four weeks living together on a challenging and emotional program, it was extremely hard to stay goodbye. Kate now heads to Indonesia for some waves and to check out potential school itinerary and project options.

Melbourne High School

19 students and 2 teachers from Melbourne High School spent the Easter holidays building relationships with West Arnhem College in Kakadu. Destination Dreaming has connected the two schooling communities, to share a cross-cultural exchange and support in mathematics tutoring.

The Melbourne students spent a week with the Jabiru campus, facilitating maths tutoring sessions- as maths is an identified need at the remote school and a strength of Melbourne High. The Melbourne students spent an equal amount of time learning- about indigenous culture and life in a remote town. The students ate at the local mess with workers at the nearby mine, learned how to make didgeridoos with a local elder and spotted crocodiles whilst cruising over beautiful Yellow Water.

The program will continue next September 2012, when the next group of students will visit Jabiru and continue the program. Melbourne High School plans to continue the maths tutoring remotely over the internet in between programs.

Check out more program photos via this link to the Facebook album.

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Destination Dreaming Staff Are Flat Out For the Month of April!

Highlights include:

Melbourne High School students are heading to Jabiru on a cross-cultural/community service expedition, led by Expedition Manager Kalen Schloss. Stay tuned for an expedition report later this month.

Program Manager Kate Miller is leading a 4-week vocational training and life skills program for young Aboriginal women from Mornington Island in outback QLD.

Program Coordinator Clint Miller is touring Samoa with the Melbourne High School Rugby team. The inaugral tour will see the boys meet the Samoan Prime Minister, as well as playing against local schools and working in rural and coastal villages.

Keeping the dream alive…