Young disadvantaged people from refugee backgrounds are getting their first taste of the Australian bush

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Young disadvantaged people from refugee backgrounds are getting their first taste of the Australian bush through a three-day trekking expedition in the Goldfields and Kooyoora State Park in central Victoria, near Bendigo.

The Journey program, run by Doxa – a Victorian not-for-profit – aims to build teamwork skills and personal skills such as confidence, a sense of belonging and connectedness which participants take with them back into the community.

Mohammed, a young man who attended Doxa’s Journey program said it “gave us a good opportunity and support to learn new things about the animals, the hills, the mountains. Because we are refugees and come from countries like Africa we don’t know about things like that.”

Doxa run programs for disadvantaged young people from across rural, regional and metropolitan Victoria.

Doxa CEO, Steve Clifford, says: “It is wonderful to be able to show newly arrived young people, particularly those with such traumatic backgrounds, the local environment. It’s so special to hear about them sharing stories round the campfire at Melville Caves or spotting their first kangaroo out in Kooyoora.”

The young people attending the Journey program will come from newly arrived or refugee backgrounds.

Participants will have experienced trauma, displacement, financial hardship and missed out on crucial years of education. English will be an additional language for them. They will have never visited rural central Victoria.

The aim of the Journey Program is to give these young people some fun, encourage social cohesion, teach them about the local environment and Indigenous culture. It’s also designed to build confidence and connectedness between different cultures.

The Journey program is part of Doxa’s portfolio, a series of programs from grade 5 to university that dovetail together and support educational attainment while also offering practical skills and experience to assist in a young person’s journey towards meaningful employment.

To get involved or for more information on the Doxa Journey Program, please visit www.doxa.org.au.

About Doxa

Doxa is a not-for-profit organisation that provides programs for young people so that they can access positive life experiences, education opportunities and employment pathways. Doxa has been around since 1972 and their programs support over 7,300 young Victorians – typically aged eight to 24 years old – each year. Every young person they interact with has a different set of life circumstances.  Doxa’s aim is to ensure that all young people enjoy enriching experiences and educational opportunity and advancement.

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