Surfing Australia Takes Indigenous Students For First Surf At Byron Bay

Saturday, 12 November 2011

COOLANGATTA/Qld (12th November): Surfing Australia played host this week to a group of school children from Doomadgee State School in north-west Queensland.

As part of the school’s Show Me Your World and I’ll Show You Mine Tour of south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales, Surfing Australia organised for the 12 students aged 11 and 12 to take part in a surf lesson at Byron Bay with professional Indigenous surfer Joe Haddon and Byron Bay surf coach Steve Foreman.

Doomadgee is situated in the remote north-west corner of Queensland near the border with the Northern Territory.

The aim of the trip was to provide an opportunity for children living in a remote Indigenous community to be introduced to a wide range of experiences which are not available in their community.

Tour organiser Dr Kerrie Foxwell said it was the first time the children had been in the surf.

“They had an absolute fantastic time,” Dr Foxwell said. “It was the first time they had been surfing and when asked what had been the favourite thing about the trip they said surfing was the best part.

“It’s really interesting to witness such pure joy and happiness. That is good news for anyone, but is especially good for children from these remote Indigenous communities, which are some of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia.

“It was particularly pleasing for them to be able to meet other Indigenous people who are doing well and are a success and Joe is an example of that.”

Earlier this year, Surfing Australia also conducted a three-day surfing program with members of the Yirrkala community in east Arnhem Land. Six participants also qualified as Surfing Australia accredited instructors and 30 boards were left for the community to continue their surfing.

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Indigenous professional surfer Joe Haddon helping a student from Doomadgee State School

A Doomadgee State School student enjoys the thrill of surfing for the first time

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