Sea Eagles inspire in North Queensland
Friday 19 October 2012 9:46 AM
The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the David Peachey Foundation are encouraging young indigenous leaders in North Queensland to make "Every Day Count" through a mentoring program that represents one of the club's proudest achievements of the season.
The Cultural Immersion, Youth Leadership and Mentoring Camp, part of our All Stars funding grant, is run in Yarrabah, a small Indigenous community located outside of Cairns, rewards students from Yarrabah State School who have demonstrated positive engagement and leadership qualities within school and the broader community.
It provides a culturally appropriate opportunity for these leaders to learn about, appreciate and embrace their culture and heritage whilst further developing their leadership qualities for life post-school and beyond.
Through the Sea Eagles' "Every Day Counts" program they have access to a substantial breakfast two mornings a week, regular physical activity programs, access to our literacy programs and ongoing mentoring via regular contact with players and staff.
Once a year our involvement culminates in the Cultural Immersion Camp featured in the video above, hopefully encouraging children to stay in school and dare to dream.
This year the camp began with introductions, school visit, footy clinics and a community BBQ in Yarrabah with David Peachey, fellow former Australian Rugby League representative Ronny Gibbs and Deanne Lees from the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
Over the next five days the kids travelled south to watch the Sea Eagles play the Cowboys, meeting the players after the game; they shared Dream Time stories, had lessons in local Indigenous history, bush tucker and traditional medicine before discussing goal setting, personal choices and peer pressure.
During a trip to James Cook University they learned about educational opportunities and followed up with a group discussion encouraging the students to articulate on their experiences during the camp.
?"This camp has showed me that if you try hard enough you can make it. Never give up and don’t let anyone else decide your future for you," year six student Moyah said.
Deputy Principal of Yarrabah State School Steve Taylor said the program had a profound effect on the students involved.
"Our students were exposed to a variety of excellent opportunities including cultural activities, future careers and job planning, leadership development and relationship building," he said.
"The message of Be Smart, Stay Clean, Live Your Dream was echoed loudly, but so was the message of identity and ensuring you remember where you come from."
The David Peachey Foundation will stay connected with all participants, through email, video conferencing and follow-up visits in what Mr Taylor believes is the most important part of the program.
"A highlight for me as an educator is the fact that the David Peachey Foundation is continuing to stay in contact with these students with ongoing support and mentoring," he said.
"A great program to be involved in.”