Engaging youth in the great outdoors

This year’s Hike for Higher Education (H4HE) in Tasmania again delivered inspiration and guidance in an informal setting to young Victorians struggling with their school work. Delivered to two cohorts over two different weekends, a total of 52 students and 22 mentors climbed the hills of Maria Island while being exposed to ideas, people, and discussions “too large” for the classroom. The mentors were a selection of high level, positive role models such as Nova Peris (OAM, first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal), Indigenous Elders, and people from program partners such as Tennis Australia (TA).

With over half the group holding Indigenous heritage, the camp had a distinctly cultural focus. AV’s Cultural Advisor Uncle Ian set the tone for the retreats, and his deep cultural knowledge was a feature of activities across the entire trip. The young people were immersed in story, language and land from the moment Uncle began his Acknowledgement of Country.

“To hear the kids reconnect in a group sense was beautiful. Education over the last 12 months has been very much just a tool, delivered online. The camp reiterated the importance of human connectivity; for human health, mental health, but also our aspirations.” — David Law, Program Manager

“I used to think the world was against me—now I think the world is my oyster.” Dylan, H4HE participant

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