Over the past five years, Kepnock State High School-based police officer, Senior Constable Mark Cartner, has been busy developing a unique program called Walk of Life.
The program is aimed at teaching students life skills through the development of outdoor education skills, mixing practical application with bush adventure therapy ideology.
This year, the program has ramped up to build students up to completing a Certificate II in Outdoor Education, adding a vocational pathway to the program structure.
With the students learning food safety skills, workplace health and safety, first aid as well as outdoor qualifications such as canoeing, indoor rock climbing, bushwalking and navigation students will gain a broad range of skills applicable to a variety of industries.
“At this stage we have commenced the program with 15 students from Kepnock State High School,” Senior Constable Cartner said.
“This year the students will be spending a week at the Gold Coast and later in the year students will undertake an expedition to Cape York to attend the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival and be shown around by traditional owners from local Cape York Communities.
“In the first week students started cooking and dehydrating meals for use in later expeditions and learning how to manoeuvre a canoe.
“Students had to be prepared to get wet and learnt that a canoe doesn’t always go the way you intend when you’re developing your skills!”
Looking to the future, Senior Constable Cartner is hoping to evolve the program further by engaging additional schools for the opportunity of new students undertaking the program.