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The Korin Gamadji Institute has had a busy few weeks, during the school holidays hosting 34 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for REAL Programs.

Participants from all over Victoria, including Shepparton, Ballarat, Albury, Melton, Melbourne, Mildura, Horsham, Geelong, Yarrawonga, Wonthaggi and Rosebud attended the programs, which featured activities on leadership, cultural affirmation, education, health and physical activity.

The REAL program was their first time at the KGI, commencing their journey to develop their leadership, and be introduced to personal and professional pathway opportunities to support them in becoming positive leaders of their communities.

During the five day program, the participants did a range of activities including visiting Parliament House, had sessions with the Victorian Electoral Commission about active citizenship, did an ‘amazing race’ though Melbourne CBD and a hip-hop session with Indigenous Hip Hop Projects.

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The program also focused on instilling the importance of a healthy lifestyle, the participants were taught about good nutrition habits, had a boxing session with Richmond’s Boxing Coach, John Vickery, and discussed the negative effects of smoking.

Participants also learnt about cyber-safety with Jirra Harvey and were treated to a musical performance by Indigenous singer and song writer Benny Walker.

Towards the end of the program, the participants all prepared and delivered speeches on topics including friendship, family, culture, aspirations and personal heroes or role models.

The participants finished their REAL Program by setting a number of values and goals to achieve before they start phase two of the program in 12 months’ time.

The KGI’s REAL Program is proudly supported by the Federal Government, partnered with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), Richmond Football Club and YMCA Victoria.