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Going bush with Clontarf Foundation

Taking a few days out of my busy schedule, I headed inland to Bourke and Brewarrina to visit the Clontarf Foundation Academies and the vibrant communities living in the region.

I was joined by senior representatives from Clontarf partners as well as Clontarf alumni, staff and students travelling through the picturesque north-west region of NSW.

We visited Gundbooka National Park to view rock art, practiced  whip cracking, tried hand fishing, snuck in a game or two of footy and interacted with local community members.

I was pleased to see the impact Clontarf mentors were having on the boys’ lives.

Clontarf is taking a whole generation of young Indigenous boys and turning them into really strong Indigenous men who will be in work and changing the direction of their communities.

It was a privilege to spend some time with the Brewarrina and Bourke Clontarf boys and see firsthand how the programme is helping them. Thank you to the Clontarf sponsors who enabled this trip.

How the Outback Adventure came about!

After being elected in 2007, the Mateship Trek was founded to bring together young Australians from very different backgrounds to retrace the steps of the war time experiences of our defence forces, honour the sacrifice of our diggers and embed their stories in a new generation.

This year I decided to focus on a local project that I have been supporting since 2008.

Clontarf Foundation aims to improve the education, life skills and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. The programs are delivered through a network of football academies in partnership with local schools. Endeavour High School at Caringbah has been helping indigenous boys since 2015 and last year had 6 young men complete their HSC.

Visiting the Bourke and Brewarrina Clontarf academies was further affirmation to me that Governments, both State and Federal, should continue to support the Foundation. The boys and community attitude towards the boys future is one of promise. The boys all have long term plans and goals for their future which would not exist without the Clontarf academies in their schools. I thank the corporate partners of Clontarf for sponsoring this event.