Every Monday night kids from Redfern come together with their family and community to learn about respect, community and culture, while having fun and a good feed. The Family Community Night at The Way in Redfern, has been so successful that these young urban Kooris will now have the opportunity to go bush and learn even more about their culture. In Vibe spoke with Community Night volunteer Tim Fennell to find out more.
“Monday night is a great opportunity for all the community to come together and have a meal. Everyone’s welcome and it’s a great, warm, sharing environment. We get different families from the block and the Redfern and Marrickville communities who all come along to share food and stories with each other and the elders over a cup of tea. There’s a lot of respect on Monday nights so I guess that gives people the opportunity to see that through sharing they can do even more with their lives,” says Tim.
Since volunteering at The Way Tim has been inspired to do something more to enable local kids to have greater access to their culture.
“Because of my involvement on Monday nights I wanted to create something bigger, where we bring country, history and culture to urban kids,” says Tim. “I am talking with Gundungurra elders about running a weekend taking kids from the city into country,” says Tim.
The weekend will not only provide an opportunity to get out of the city but will also involve looking at how to identify and restore sacred sites.
“The plan is to do a camp out in the Blue Mountains with the elders and see some of the sites that are up there,” says Tim. “We want to show the kids how to find a site, as well as look at what’s been done to restore the site and how they can get involved with restoring sites in the future. It will be a cultural event that is educational and fun and they’ll get to share their stories under the stars while enjoying bush tucker.”
The camp which takes place on the 11th and 12th of December is open to kids aged 4 to 16 years and Tim says older members of the community are welcome to come and share the experience as volunteers.
“We’ll be doing everything from learning how to put up tents through to respecting the bush and learning how to prepare damper and bush tucker. We already have some volunteers on board such as Pastor Johnny Murison who is helping out with transport and Aunty Pam Grove who runs the Monday Family Community night is working out protocols for the overnight camp.
We’d love other volunteers to come on board to help make sure the kids are safe and have a great time,” says Tim.
If you’d like more information or want to book for the weekend contact Tim on 0449 866 229 or drop into the Family Community Night on Mondays in Redfern at The Way (opposite Redfern police station).