Senior Constable Mark Cartner has recently returned from a trip to Cape York with students from around the region as part of his Walk of Life program.
Now in its sixth year, the program is designed to provide young people with opportunities to learn more about culture, the environment and life skills while completing a Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation.
This year’s group of students have returned from an expedition where they attended the Laura Quinkan Dance Festival, visited reconciliation rocks and experienced a Kup Murri (traditional underground cooking) in the Cape York region.
“As part of the Walk of Life Program we went up to Cape York and showed the students around Cooktown and Laura and we had traditional owners who took us on a tour of their country,” Senior Constable Cartner said.
“The trip was for 12 days and we drove up, staying at PCYC’s along the way up and we camped out at a station just outside of Laura while we were there, sleeping out of swags and learning to cook for ourselves as well as doing our own washing and cleaning.”
Senior Constable Cartner said the aim of the expedition was to encourage re-engagement in education for students and teach them that there was a lot more to life out there.
“The aim of the program is re-engagement and to get kids re-interested in education,” Senior Constable Cartner said.
“As part of the course they do a Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation so a lot of it is for educational purposes and life skills and to show them there is a little bit more to life and the outdoors.
“The students need this sort of program as it shows them about other ways of life, with about half the kids being Indigenous and half of them not, they all came together with an understanding of the culture.”
The students were engaged in a range of activities throughout the expedition that encouraged skill development to help them complete their certificate.
“We have done a couple of units on cooking, some on food safety handling as well as rock climbing, canoeing, bushwalking and navigation work,” he said.
“They will also be doing a first aid certificate and then there are other units that help them to understand what it is like to work and learn general skill that are applicable to a broad range of industries.”
Participant Dakota Stanmore said the opportunity was a once in a lifetime experience that she would highly recommend to anyone.
“This program is amazing, you make so many new friends and see so many new places,” Dakota said.
“We went kayaking which helped us to experience and understand water safety and the hiking gave us bush experience and taught us about plants you can or can’t eat and also taught us about the traditional use for them and the first aid.
“The Walk of Life program is the trip of a lifetime.
“Everything you learn on it you will need to use one day and getting to have a Certificate II in Outdoor Rec makes it even better.”
You can find out more about the expedition here.
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