New Geraldton Aboriginal youth mentoring program to engage young people in cultural learning

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Zain Laudehr.
Camera IconZain Laudehr. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian

A new program bringing together the young and the old is aimed at helping Geraldton youth form a strong identity and overcome life’s obstacles

Hosted by local Aboriginal corporation Bundiyarra, the program was born from a community consultation process which identified youth suicide, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, housing, out of home care and social and justice issues as the primary challenges affecting Geraldton youth.

Called Thana Barndijunmanha Mirnungumaynyulu — which means improving by teaching each other — the initiative will see Aboriginal elders and traditional owners engage youth in cultural activities.

These could include bush camps, Dreamtime storytelling, language lessons, creating family trees and discussing what it means to be an Aboriginal person.

Bundiyarra project manager Zain Laudehr will co-ordinate the program, which he says will help young people feel comfortable in their own skin.

“It is important for young people to have a self-identity and a connection to their culture and elders,” he said.

Several young people and elders have already expressed interest in the initiative, but Mr Laudehr said there was still room for more mentors to come on board.

“We are looking for nominations for two traditional owners, four local elders, and three male and three female Aboriginal youth representatives between the ages of 18-25 to mentor project participants,” he said.

The initiative starts early next year and will run until June 2024.

Phone Mr Laudehr on 9920 7900 for more information.

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