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Community comes together for fishing workshop

ABORIGINAL children from the Shoalhaven and Illawarra areas got a chance to wet a line at a special Department of Primary Industries (DPI) workshop run in partnership with the Shoalhaven LAC and PCYC at Greenwell Point on Friday 19 April 2013.

45 Aboriginal children from the Nowra, Jerringa and Lake Illawarra Aboriginal communities participated in the workshop.

During the workshop, kids learned about NSW fishing rules, conservation of fish and their habitats, knot tying, line rigging, baiting and casting techniques and how to properly play a fish using a rod and reel.

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Inspector Steve Johnson, Aboriginal Issues Officer for the Shoalhaven Local Area Command said, “These workshops not only offer Aboriginal children fishing skills, they also teach them social interaction skills and about their culture, particularly about traditional Aboriginal fishing techniques and the importance of fishing to the Aboriginal way
of life.

“We were very privileged to have some Elders from the Aboriginal community at the workshop and would particularly like to thank Mr Dean Kelly from the National Parks and Wildlife Service who delivered the Aboriginal cultural education session of the day’s program.

“Despite the windy conditions the kids had a fair go at trying to catch some fish off the wharves at Greenwell Point, although no big ones were landed they managed to catch a few tiddlers.

“This dedicated fishing workshop is a fantastic opportunity for them to enjoy a day of organised activities, learn a few new skills, take away a greater understanding of sustainable fishing – and most of all have fun.” Inspector Johnson said.

NSW DPI staff, Police Officers, Volunteers in Policing, the team from the Jervis Bay Region Fishcare Volunteer Program, Illawarra Koori Mens Support Group and members of the local
Aboriginal community provided valuable assistance and experience during the day.

The program is supported by funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust and is also proudly sponsored by Fishing World Magazine, McGlashan Media, Nowra Marine and Wilson Fishing.

“The Shoalhaven Local Area Command would like to thank our sponsors for their ongoing support of this successful program, Fishing World Magazine and Al McGlashan from McGlashan Media have been with us from the start and more recently Nowra Marine and Wilson Fishing have come on-board ensuring the longevity of the program. We would also like to especially acknowledge the support of funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust in
making running this program possible.” Inspector Johnson concluded.

The next Cops and Koori Kids Fishing Workshop is being held at Huskisson on Wednesday 2 October 2013.

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