ACPE partners with Red Dust Role Models

by frank-stuart
22AUG

Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) has extended its cultural experience program this year welcoming a new partnership with Red Dust Role Models. Red Dust complements existing health promotion programs and assists health professionals, school teachers and community leaders to improve the general health and wellbeing of Indigenous youth.

ACPE’s first experience as a partner saw three students visit Red Dust in the Northern Territory to work in a small community 250km south west of Darwin called Daly River (Nayoui) and participate in a four day festival. The festival aims to re-engage disadvantaged indigenous youth with activities highlighting the benefits and importance of living a healthy life.

ACPE’s involvement in the program is a practical extension of subjects in Aboriginal Education and Indigenous Health within the Bachelor of Education (Physical Education and Health) and Bachelor of Health and Movement degrees. Students ventured to Daly River to gain invaluable first hand experience and reported the trip to be ‘humbling’ and ‘inspiring’.

“It was a great opportunity for our students to see first-hand some of the challenges these communities face and the positive role they can have in supporting change,” said Ben Haywood, ACPE’s Communications and Engagement Coordinator who accompanied the students on the trip.

“Involvement in a program like Red Dust gives our students industry related experiences that complements the theoretical components learnt in the classroom.”

For Elena Di Biagio (pictured below), who is currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education and Health) at ACPE, the experience was inspiring. She has since returned to the community to volunteer her time to support a young women’s program.

“At the start of uni break I was one of the students fortunate enough to be selected to go to Daly River. While I was up there I got to help in the local school for a day as well as run sporting activities on the oval with the kids,” said Elena.

“We got to take a group of girls aged between 11 and 17 to Douglas Daly which is around 130km east of Daly. There we shared stories around the campfire with the older women of the community – it was an experience I will never forget.

“After coming home for a few days I was asked to go back into the same community to help with a strong young women’s program. I look forward to travelling to Daly later in the year to run a similar program again.”

ACPE is committed in continuing to support this life-changing program as a pivotal part of the College’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

elena-red-dust

About Red Dust Role Models

Red Dust Role Models has over 20 years’ experience in working with disadvantaged youth in remote Indigenous communities throughout the Northern Territory. Their Healthy Living Program sees the lives of Indigenous youth enriched through a series of community visits aimed at building relationships while conveying vital health messages.

Elite athletes and other positive role models volunteer their time to spend a minimum of four days in schools and health clinics throughout some of the most remote communities in the Northern Territory. For more information visit www.reddust.org.au.

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