The chance to enjoy the beautiful water and surrounds of Narrabeen Beach was not lost on some very excited country kids last week.
More than 40 Indigenous children and carers from the small town of Brewarrina in north-west NSW travelled over 800 kilometres as part of the ‘Bush to Beach’ program.
First started in 2006 at South Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club, the program is held each January with many of the children aged between 8 and 15 seeing the ocean for the first time.
As part of the visit, the children learn CPR, First Aid, water safety, how to ride a surf board, to developing social skills.
The children also received a visit from Manly Sea Eagles players Daly Cherry-Evans and Joel Thompson.
The pair took time out from their busy training schedules to have photos, sign autographs, and present the children with some Sea Eagles merchandise.
Founder Jack Cannons, AM, has been supporting Aboriginal communities in far west NSW since the early 90s.
He developed a business plan to reward well-behaved children who attended school for a year with a trip to Narrabeen after witnessing the many struggles the children went through.
“In the communities where the kids come from, we have seen many kids now completing year 10 and year 12 and moving on to jobs and universities,’’ Jack said.
“This program has seen reduction in truancy in Brewarrina and surrounding towns as the kids have to attend school to be able to participate in the program.
“The Northern Beaches community has got right behind this program since 2006 with support for the visit, as well as the many trips now made to Brewarrina and other towns with supply of clothes, baby wares, computers and educational equipment.”