Annual Cops and Koori Kids Fishing Workshop another success

SHOALHAVEN police along with their partners in the Cops and Koori Kids Fishing Workshop Program the NSW DPI and Shoalhaven PCYC, are hailing the 4th Cops and Koori Kids Fishing Workshop held at Greenwell Point a big success.

48 local Aboriginal children participated in the fishing workshop and also managed to catch and release a number of fish, including flounder, mullet and trevally.

This program is proudly supported by Fishing World Magazine, McGlashan Media, Nowra Marine, Compleat Angler – Nowra, Fishing Australia and Tweed Bait.

Dean Kelly from the National Parks and Wildlife Service shared his knowledge about Aboriginal culture and traditional fishing techniques with the kids.

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Staff from NSW DPI, Catchment Management Authority, Shoalhaven Police, Shoalhaven PCYC and Jervis Bay Region Fishcare Program Team also assisted in running the workshop.

Organisers were appreciative of members of the community who gave up their own time to assist with running the workshop, including Ian “Big E” Phillips and Vic Judson.

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Funding from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust is contributed to running this highly successful community engagement program, which is an initiative under the Shoalhaven Local Area Command’s Aboriginal Action Plan.

Local police see these workshops as an important initiative in building the relationship and breaking down barriers between local police and Koori kids.

Inspector Steve Johnson founder of the Program said, “Getting Aboriginal children involved in a pastime which is part of the traditional Aboriginal way of life is important. Fishing has always been an integral part of the cultural and economic life of coastal and inland Aboriginal communities. Fishing provides an important source of food and is an important part of cultural and ceremonial life.”

“Recreational fishing also has a number of health and emotional well-being benefits. Recreational fishing also has the real potential to divert Aboriginal children away from risk taking behaviour from getting them involved in a fun and healthy activity.”

“This dedicated fishing workshop for Aboriginal children was a fantastic opportunity for them to enjoy a day of organised activities, learn a few new skills, take away a greater understanding of fishing and the management of our fisheries resources – and most of all have fun and to get to know some their local cops a bit better.” Inspector Johnson said.

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