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Cultural learning

The Welcome to My Country camp brought together 16 young people from across Australia to showcase their cultural and community strengths and to talk about what makes them proud of who they are and where they're from.

Red Cross brought together young people from Barcaldine in Queensland, Daly River in the Northern Territory and Broome, Western Australia to Udialla Springs on the Fitzroy River, 200 kilometres from Broome.

Norma from Broome was one of the campers.

What's it like growing up in Broome?
"It's multi-cultural and everyone knows it each other. Everyone knows what the problems are and they try to do stuff with the children to help keep them away from getting in trouble."

What are some of the issues facing young people in Broome?
"Dropping out of school, alcohol, drugs, family violence and stuff like that."

What would you like to do when you're older?
"Be someone who helps other people, and help change some of the issues in Broome."

Who are your role models as a young Aboriginal woman?
"Some of the young Dreamtime project girls. They do Aboriginal modelling and work in the fashion."

Why did you want to go on the Welcome to My Country camp?
"Get away from seeing the same people every day and meet new people and seeing what it was like for them and how they see the world.

Before the camp, each group gathered information about their community, speaking to local Elders and community people about local cultural knowledge they could share.

The Broome mob showed off life on the west coast of Australia, hunting dugong and turtles, then proudly showed clips of local Aboriginal people who are now famous actors and international models.

How did you feel about the presentation, talking about Broome?
"I felt proud. We showcased famous people from Broome and to say you can go far even being from a little town."

What did you enjoy about the camp?
"Learning all the stuff from Uncle Neville, he was telling us stories about things we never knew. Building the hut that was fun. Getting away and meeting new people and having a break."

"Thank you Uncle Neville and Jo for letting us stay in your country, making us feel at home and sharing your knowledge with us all. I really appreciated it. Now each and every one of us that came on camp will go home with more knowledge and confidence than we first came to camp."

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