Kolbe students explore culture at Indigenous camp

23 May 2024

Amidst the gentle breeze of the Noongar season of Djeran, Camp Wattle Grove recently played host to Kolbe Catholic College students at this year’s Indigenous camp. Held from 2 to 3 May – the experience was shared with 33 Moorditj Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students of different ages. The central focus of the camp was fostering strong relationships among students across different age groups, and with College staff, to create a sense of unity and understanding. 

Les Oakley, from 2 Deadly Food & Fitness, and 

Perth Glory Player, David Williams served as guides for the camp, and the program began with a yarn session, allowing introductions and storytelling among participants.  

David led a session of Deadly Games, including soccer drills and inclusive games that promoted interaction and physical well-being.

Mitchell, Year 9 said, “The highlight of my stay at camp was meeting Perth Glory player David Williams and the team building activity, where we made our own tapping and message sticks. During this activity, we used paint, wood burning tools, engraving, and markers to express our stories through art, a powerful exercise that I felt gave me a voice.”

Damellia, Year 11 said, ‘I loved celebrating my 16th birthday at camp with a cake made by my peers, and it was a big surprise when we had some kangaroos visit us at camp.”

“These activities not only engaged the students but also taught them valuable skills and teamwork,” David said.

The culinary aspect of the camp was equally enriching, with Les collaborating with the students on the camp’s menu weeks prior.

“Teams of students worked together to prepare a delicious dinner, learning culinary skills and incorporating indigenous spices for an authentic touch. The aromas wafting from the kitchen were simply divine, and the menu featured a variety of dishes including roast beef, emu nachos, kangaroo Thai salad, and barramundi fish burgers,” Les said.

The camp also focused on fitness and nutrition, with a boot-camp style physical training session led by Les Oakley, emphasising the mental benefits of exercise. The importance of food choices and their impact on physical development and overall health was also discussed, with David sharing his own dietary routines as an elite athlete.

Principal, Neil Alweyn said Kolbe’s Indigenous camp was a resounding success, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of our college staff.

“It was a time of learning, bonding, and experiencing the rich Indigenous culture firsthand. The memories created during this camp will be cherished for years to come, and we look forward to more such enriching experiences in the future.”

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