28 February 2024

NPA's young leaders connect to inspire their communities

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Leadership camp attendees

Young leaders from the five communities of the NPA came together in Cairns and learned to become better role models. Photo: Supplied.

The next generation of Northern Peninsula Area’s young leaders recently travelled to Cairns for an inspiring youth leadership camp.

Twenty-five campers aged between 12 and 25 returned to their communities ready to inspire their peers with life lessons learned and new experiences.

The camp was facilitated by Northern Peninsula Area Family and Community Services (NPAFACS) and the Northern Outlook.

The NPAFACS youth team staff members ran activities during the camp, including a yarning circle, myths and legends storytelling, and cultural leadership with each person’s clans’ winds and totems to identify themselves and connect.

NPAFACS youth team leader – youth services Susita Vout said the totem activity showed the group they were all connected, despite coming from different communities.

“The camp is good, because it connects all five communities and we can do group activities with our friends from school who live in different communities,” one participant told Ms Vout.

Remote Alcohol Drug Intervention Outcomes (RADIO) support worker Odessa Sabatino said the goal of the leadership camp was to empower the young people, enable resilience and self-leadership, and enhance their world view.

“By positively exposing the young people to life outside NPA, they can develop their sense of curiosity and future potential,” Ms Sabatino said.

“Some of them had never visited Cairns before, and therefore it was an enlightening experience for them.

“Other young people are now keen to be selected for the next leadership camp, because the group returned full of enthusiasm, and with good stories for their friends and other youths in the NPA community.”

Ms Sabatino said the young people chosen for the camp had displayed respect for others, valued education and actively participated in youth services.

She said although the NPA had a wealth of role models and elders to guide young people, the camp encouraged them to also self-lead and model good behaviours themselves.

“The camp presented participants with an opportunity to work as a team and develop skills as a group and team players,” Ms Sabatino said.

“It also enabled them to manage time and organise themselves for various activities, budgeting money for shopping trips and excursions, and adaptable behaviour to bigger city norms.”

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