Queensland Country Life, June 2010
“There's nothing to do” – a familiar teenage cry, and for many indigenous youth from remote communities it’s a reality.
Beyond Billabong is a life and rural skills training program, creating meaningful opportunities for indigenous youth. Based in Longreach, the four-week program aims to develop self-confidence and self-worth.
It challenges participants to make positive life choices; with training in the areas of horsemanship, leatherwork, artwork, computing, vehicle operations, teambuilding, and leadership.
Visionary, Boyd Curran, is the driving force behind Beyond Billabong. With 10 years experience in development training for indigenous youth, he is passionate about the program. He states: “Kids have a right to be educated and loved.”
Ben, Daniel and Lyle Kent from Kent Saddlery instruct and encourage participants in developing leatherwork skills.
Ben finds it satisfying, “I’m encouraged to see the way participants are inspired to believe they can be successful, and do something worthwhile.”
Daniel believes that “The course is very worthwhile. It opened my eyes to the challenges faced by indigenous youth.”
Participants also travel to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Boyd explains “It’s much more than a holiday – one of life’s challenges is to do something you don’t think you can do. To get on a plane, a bus, and go surfing are huge life experiences for them.”
Beyond Billabong works towards finding meaningful employment for young people, and provides ongoing support. Ultimately, the program seeks to secure a future for them, and the generations to come.