You are hereHome > About us > News > Camp connects young people to nature in the Great Otway National Park
Camp connects young people to nature in the Great Otway National Park
Thursday 24 October, 2013
A camp for young people experiencing mental health issues that was held at the Great Otway National Park in early October has been enjoyed by six young people from Shepparton.
Parks Victoria and Mind Australia have joined forces to run the innovative ‘Taste of Adventure Program’ that aims to help build young people’s self confidence and trust in others by connecting them to nature and giving them an opportunity to enjoy outdoor adventure activities.
As part of this program, six people aged 16-23 years, spent three days camping in the Great Otway National Park and doing a range of activities including taking a guided tour in kayaks to see a seal colony up close, exploring rock pools, a walk to Erskine Falls and a chat with a park ranger about Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary and its precious environment.
Parks Victoria Community Activation Coordinator, John Kenwright, said he was delighted that the partnership with Mind Australia was providing access to parks for young people who may not otherwise feel the benefits of getting out into nature.
“Research has proven that getting out into parks and connecting with nature has direct benefits for people’s health and well being. This joint program is a great example of Parks Victoria’s aim to forge strong partnerships with other organisations, individuals and the community to ensure as many Victorians can enjoy the wonder and healthy benefits of our parks,” he said.
Mind’s Shepparton Service Team Leader, Adele Henwood said, “The program provides young people with the opportunity to challenge themselves and overcome barriers, such as trauma, that may have prevented them from participating in activities such as these in the past in a supportive environment. Everyone worked as a team and supported each other providing encouragement to one another. The smiles on the faces as we sat in the kayaks by the seals could not be beaten.”
Program participant, Amy Aldren said, “It was great to get out and do stuff like that with the people you live with… getting information and doing things in the environment. It made me look and think about things in life. I came back refreshed knowing I can do things.”Funded by the Victorian Government’s Healthy Parks Healthy People Active in Parks Program, the ‘Taste of Adventure Program’ camping trip to the Great Otway National Park will also be offered to a group of young people from metropolitan Melbourne who are experiencing mental health issues. Future trips will also include a fishing and camping trip to Mt Buffalo for regional and city-based youths.
12 Mar 2014
The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia. Each month the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology conduct the monthly bat count at Yarra Bend Park at dusk on the Wednesday evening closest to the risen full moon. This data is critical…
15 Mar 2014 9:00am - 16 Mar 2014 5:00pm
The Back to Steiglitz community art group will have an exhibition in St Paul's church, Steiglitz. There will be 4 artists displaying their works in a variety of mediums and styles. Historic buildings will be open to the public. The Back to Steiglitz group will provide food and drinks for…
23 Mar 2014 9:00am-3:00pm
Help create koala habitat and learn about koalas. Enjoy a day helping Koalas in the wild. Search for koalas, monitor their behaviour, remove weeds from their habitat and take records of all other wildlife seen, all in the company of a highly experienced Koala Researcher. Part of the day is…
23 Mar 2014 11:00am-3:30pm
Live.Grow.Explore. Community Day brings community together to explore their broader backyard and to learn more about sustainable lifestyle choices in one of Melbourne's most extensive landcare and reinvigoration corridors. This FREE family event and BBQ lunch showcases many sustainable education stalls. The day includes Vasili Kanidiadis of Vasilis Garden to…