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Future leaders of Australia take on Parliament House

Last year the Cathy Freeman Foundation hosted 88 students who attended Horizons camps at destinations including Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. The Year 7-8 camp held in Canberra earlier in the year was a particular highlight with students having the opportunity to meet with leaders across Australian politics and sport.

Fifteen students came together to explore the nation’s capital, travelling from our four remote partner communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory; Palm Island (QLD), Woorabinda (QLD) Wurrumiyanga (NT) and Galiwin’ku (NT).

"It was wonderful to see students from our partner schools getting the opportunity to share their stories with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion. A great example of tomorrow's leaders getting the chance to meet with the leaders of today," said Jamie Howden, Cathy Freeman Foundation CEO.

Without the incredible support from our friends such as Credit Suisse we wouldn’t be able to offer students these opportunities that will inspire them to do their best in school and beyond.

The camps, packed with educational and inspiring activities, provide students with the opportunity to see the world outside of their community. This can be a life changing experience in itself with some of these students never stepping foot outside of their own community. Most importantly, the camp leaders work hard to create a week that will build the children’s confidence and determination to succeed at school and ultimately complete Year 12.

“After the kids come back from Horizons, you can see the change in them, the leaders coming out. It’s a domino effect. They talk to their mates about their experience and then everyone wants to go," said Geoff Major, Programs Coordinator for Woorabinda.

Enhancements to the Horizons Program this year have been made to ensure each camp is relevant to the different age groups. For example, the program for older students is an intensive personal development experience where they explore post school education and employment pathways in an Australian metropolitan city. For younger children the focus is more on confidence, goal setting, and being proud of who you are.

Feedback from Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School (MCPS) at Wurrumiyanga about the Horizons Program included, “The Melbourne camp was an absolutely amazing week and the children definitely got involved and gave everything a go. It was wonderful getting to know them and seeing them make new friends, setting goals for their future, sharing their culture and language, dancing with the group and constantly giggling and having a great time!”

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