A group of young people from Miyay Birray Aboriginal Youth Services had the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal culture and life on the Central Coast during a visit with another youth service on the last month.
Central Coast’s Regional Youth Support Services (RYSS) – which won the 2017 Youth Service of the Year award – hosted a visit by Moree’s Miyay Birray from January 8 to 12.
The visit was arranged to give the Moree young people the opportunity of learning something about Aboriginal culture and life on the Central Coast through people that have relocated to the Central Coast from Moree.
“When we won the Youth Service of the Year Mirray Birray was nominated as well, so it was an idea that we had to bring both our services together through a youth exchange,” Kim McLoughry CEO of RYSS said.
“Inland communities are struggling at the moment both economically and socially while their coastal cousins are flourishing and a visit to Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, one of the sponsors, highlighted the difference within the communities,” added Barry Duncan, RYSS Indigenous Justice Program team leader, who is originally from Moree.
Barry and his family relocated to the Central Coast more than 50 years ago. In fact the Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Centre is named after his mother and located at Wyong.
The connection doesn’t stop there with the late Jack Smith (Barry’s uncle),originally from Moree, being one of the founders of Land Rights and the powerful Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council on the Central Coast.
Whilst on the coast the Moree group visited Bulgandry, Kariong, Somersby Falls and Warre Warren Aboriginal Place to experience the rich and diverse Aboriginal history through rock engravings and artwork.
The group also experienced ‘The Bus’, an initiative of RYSS, and are looking at replicating this for their outreach service in Moree.
Miyay Birray CEO Darrell Smith said The Bus is awe-inspiring.
“It’s something we could use; seeing young people taking the lead with staff of RYSS is very motivating,” he said.
Mixed in with a restaurant outing, beach and swimming plus laser tag everyone enjoyed what was on offer on the Central Coast.
Barwon Local Area Comman Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer David Roberts said the visit was very rewarding for the Moree children.
“These young people are good students with good attendance records, yet go unnoticed in the school system and this visit enriched their knowledge of culture, the role Moree people have played outside of Moree and RYSS who provide an amazing service which is the envy of all of NSW,” he said.
To commemorate the visit the group presented RYSS with a large tree cutting engraved by prominent local Gomeroi artist Chris Roberts. Kim McLoughry and staff gratefully accepted and were left speechless by an amazing piece of artwork.