This year Parkes High School was lucky enough to have three students selected to participate in the 2019 Active Citizenship Program: Michael Riley, Ajay Goolagong and Emily Helm. We also had Nicayden Greenwood and Kyah Turnbull who participated in last year’s program, invited to return this year as mentors .
The Central West Police District are running their annual Active Citizen Program for selected Aboriginal Year Ten students from Parkes, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo High Schools. It is a reward program for these eleven young people that aims to build leadership skills and awareness in being an active citizen in their community; increasing confidence and employability; and enhancing cultural knowledge.
The program commenced with a trip to Sydney, visiting the GWS Giants AFL Club and watching a training session, getting a tour of the facility at Giants HQ, meeting players and seeing a game. It was a rare opportunity, and the participants really valued the experience.
The Marine Area Command (NSW Water Police) also provided a tour of their facility and some of their boats, which included a ride on Sydney Harbour. The weather could not have been better and this was the first ‘cruise’ on Sydney harbour for most of the young people.
Cumberland Council organised a cultural experience at Pemulwuy, which is a suburb that is a practical example of reconciliation and is named after a local Aboriginal warrior – we found out about the warrior and the history of the local area. The young people painted their first pair of clap sticks, which is a ceremonious occasion, and took part in other traditional games and activities.
“This trip was an amazing experience,” Senior Constable Daniel Greef said. “It provided a number of once in a life time opportunities for both the staff and participants.”
Throughout the rest of the program, participants take part in various local cultural activities; visiting local businesses and community groups to find out why they give back to their communities; and discovering local career opportunities that may be available to them and building up their skills. The program concludes with a leadership camp in Jindabyne and Canberra, where the participants will climb to the summit of Mount Kosciusko; visit the Royal Military Academy, Duntroon, and the Australian War Memorial, concluding with a Last Post ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.