Recently NACC NRM’s Aboriginal Custodianship Program Coordinator Priscilla Papertalk joined forces with the Geraldton Police and Citizen Youth Centre Co-ordinator Talya Quinn to deliver a WA Police-funded program, educating students from FLEXI Learning Centre through bike rides on Country.
The program spanned over six weeks, from 1 November to 6 December, with interactive activities every Wednesday. It proved to be effective in delivering outcomes around improving engagement in education.
Each week, the program covered topics of:
1 November – To kick off, students were taken through a safety briefing, and taught basic mountain bike skills. They then learned about the importance of understanding Traditional Cultural Environmental knowledge.
8 November – Students were introduced to a basic mountain bike track, and went through historical First Nations land education.
15 November – After a long distance on Country bush ride, the kids had a lesson in Cultural Safety and Awareness.
22 November – The group heard about local language groups and different bush tucker while exploring bush tracks in a ‘tucker hunt’.
29 November – A ride along the river set the scene for cultural dreamtime storytelling, and discussion around caring for Country, which included the consequences and dangers of rock throwing.
6 December – To close the program, the students and program leaders enjoyed a bush tucker barbeque and some time on the Pump n Jump mountain bike track at Spalding Park.
Priscilla said it was a fulfilling experience for not only the students but also for those who worked together to run the program.
“It sounds like the kids are eager to learn more, and we’re certainly looking forward to connecting with them all again next year,” said Priscilla.
The program encouraged students to find out more about Aboriginal Culture, as they became more engaged and willing to learn over the weeks. It was also a great way to talk about bike safety and even learn some new skills.