Fifteen students from North Lake Senior Campus had their first taste of what it’s like to hike in the Australian bush when they participated in the first over night hike since the pandemic began.
The young people who participated are all from recent refugee backgrounds, with some arriving as recently as May 2021. This was a wonderful opportunity to connect with new friends and discover the scenery beyond the south eastern suburbs of Perth. Since first partnering with First Hike Project in 2016, Multicultural Futures have been able to refer more than 80 young people and it has been a joy to witness the transformative impact for the participants.
The group hiked to Mt Cooke campsite on the Bibulmun track, where they set up tents for the night. This experience would not be possible without the vision and time commitment of the First Hike Project team, who volunteer all of their time and expertise to create the First Hike experience. .
Louise Jorgenson, the Perth FHP coordinator said that she was so proud of this group of 15 amazing, kind, inclusive, adventurous young people who came on the hike in October. For some students it was their first night away from family since arriving Australia. For some it was a challenge hiking in the heat, carrying a heavy pack. For some it was their first experience with a tent and sleeping bag. But everyone amazed us with their positive and determined attitude.
“We guided them through the bush, over streams, up huge hills and enjoyed amazing views from the top. After dinner at night we all enjoyed some dancing around a campfire – even the guides got up! Thank you to each and every one of you for coming along. Your smiles made it all worthwhile,” Louise said.