Gymea Community Aid and Information Service, in partnership with Advanced Diversity Services, last month held a friendship hike for 39 adults and children in the Royal National Park.
Friendship hikes was the brainchild of Nick Geoghegan, a cub leader from the 1st Oatley Bay Scout group, who was passionate about introducing newly arrived migrants to the Australian bushlands, creating meaningful personal relationships and lasting connections to the land along the way.
On January 20, armed with a bottle of sunscreen, lunch, cold water and sheer determination, the group of cubs, scouts and new arrivals tackled the Jibbon Head walk with gusto. Along the way they played games so they could get to know each other — they laughed, chatted and had lots of fun.
The group enjoyed the beautiful surroundings, salty sea air, pristine bushland and fabulous Aboriginal rock art, created by the Dharawal people and dating back over a thousand years.
The day was a totally new experience for most of the young people. One participant, after being asked what he thought of the day, said, “I enjoyed today, loved playing the games and helping the adults.”
Mr Geoghegan said, “We had a great day with all the kids together. It was great to give the kids from GCA and ADS an experience they might not have a chance to get otherwise.
“For our cubs and scouts, they got to meet and have fun with a group in the community that they might hear lots about but seldom meet. For our adults and leaders, it was a lovely day and all the kids were a real pleasure.”
Gymea Community Aid and Information Service is looking forward to organising the next friendship hike.