Jordan Edwards is one of the inaugural participants and spoke about his desire to young help Indigenous youth.
“The REAL Program has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I hope I can help other young Koori kids feel the same way about these camps when I return to volunteer,” Edwards said.
Jessica Bennett is also among the inaugural cohort and like all the Phase 3 participants, she completed the first and second phases.
“My life journey has been completely changed by KGI programs,” Bennett said.
“Not only have I become more resilient, compassionate and understanding, but I have grown to become a proud and strong Aboriginal woman.”
In partnership with the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC), participants in the new Phase 3 program will complete the Centre’s accredited Certificate II in Indigenous Leadership course.
Twenty participants were selected to complete the program and they all have completed certificates, such as Business Management or Community Service, and are currently or have been employed.
Six are studying Higher Education at University.
The first of three program intensives, over the course of six months, included cultural based sessions such as a heritage walk and traditional dance, as well as leadership, health and wellbeing and active citizenship seminars.
On day three the participants had a games night with Richmond’s Next Generation Academy Program footballers. The facet also included a trip to the movies and a scavenger hunt.
The participants travelled to Richmond’s Punt Road Oval from various metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria, including Wodonga, Langwarrin, Geelong, Mildura, Heidelberg, Nathalia, Kilmore, South Morang, Ballarat, Reservoir and Echuca.
Program partners, the Victorian Electoral Commission and Culture is Life, also facilitated sessions throughout the program.
The VEC highlighted the importance of active participation in their communities and the electoral process, and Culture is Life played an important role celebrating and affirming Indigenous culture through various workshops.