Bush Heritage Australia has been working with the Shires of Perenjori and Morawa in Western Australia to deliver the Gunduwa Young Leaders' Program. This dynamic initiative for young locals took place over a 9 month period from June 2014 - March 2015, and involved 12 participants.
The young people were selected to take part in the program through the knowledge that they all had the ability to become leaders amongst their peers or community. The main aims of the program were to connect the participants with the environment and the land, increase their knowledge on the importance of conservation, educate about aspects of cultural history and heritage, and enhance their teamwork and leadership skills.
The program has included a range of activities such as:
- An overnight camp at the Charles Darwin Reserve focusing on practical conservation work.
- A full day of leadership and personal development.
- Workshops on career exploration and employability skills, completion of a two day Senior First Aid Certificate.
- A second camp out to the Charles Darwin Reserve where the young people took part in tracking, monitoring and trapping of local fauna species with an environmental science group called Citizen Science.
- Work experience with Luke Bayley from Bush Heritage Australia.
- The planning and facilitation of a range of activities as a part of a ‘Youth Hub’ at the Blues for the Bush Open Day.
The Gunduwa Young Leaders program is unique in that it connects young people with the land, away from technology and other distractions, teaches them important life skills, and encourages them to reflect on how they can play a part in conserving our environment.
The program was primarily funded by the Gunduwa Regional Conservation Association, with a small contribution from each Shire. Various partners from Bush Heritage, Geraldton Regional Community Education Centre, Mt Gibson Iron, and both the Shire of Morawa and Perenjori worked together to ensure that the program was successful.
In order to recognise the success of the program, and acknowledge the progress of the participants, a celebration event was held on the 20th March 2015 at the Morawa Greater Sportsgrounds. The event included a sit down dinner, inspirational guest speaker presentation by Leah Adams from Perenjori, and a presentation of certificates to all participants. The evening was a positive and empowering one for the Young Leaders who we hope to involve in future programs in both towns.
Following the success of the 2014 Gunduwa Young Leaders Program the Shires of Perenjori and Morawa and Bush Heritage Australia are looking forward to working with Gunduwa Regional Conservation Association and other partners to develop this program in 2015 and beyond.