Dukes Gear Shed - Nyngan
Richard launched a youth project, The Dukes Gear Shed with the objective of engaging young people in school and community activities. As a local high school teacher, he was aware of the challenges facing young people as they made the move from education into working life. Using the Duke of Edinburgh Award program structure, Richard encouraged collaboration between the local high school and community volunteers to provide mentoring for its participants.
Richard and the project team acquired the equipment needed to run the Duke of Edinburgh Award including the purchase of a shipping container and a lockable trailer to store canoes and other outdoor equipment.
In 2012, seven bronze level participants canoed with Richard on the Macquarie River from Dubbo to Narromine. The participants learnt how to canoe, set-up camp and basic survival skills such as navigation, first aid, distress signals and hunting for food. The equipment purchased with the grant has also been used by students completing the VET Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation, run by the charity Barnardos and also by local church groups.
Richard's project has made excellent progress in delivering positive social and personal development outcomes for young people in the Nyngan region including increased youth engagement, improved self-esteem and interpersonal skills.
Local community groups and organisations have been quick to commit their support including TAFE who confirmed that students who completed the full program would have their skills recognised with Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation.