VIDEO: Cops & Koori kids’ fishing workshop

ON Wednesday 3 October, staff from the NSW Police Force’s Lake Illawarra Local Area Command and the Department of Primary Industries got together to teach Indigenous kids how to fish safely and sustainably.

While conditions were perfect for a beautiful day of fishing on Lake Illawarra, it was also a chance for police to build relationships with young Aboriginal people in a healthy and relaxed environment.

The Cops and Koori Kids Fishing Workshop is part of the Command’s ongoing Kids Fishing Workshop community engagement strategy.

The program seeks to strengthen the relationship and breakdown barriers between police and children from the local community, but also teach them about fishing.

So far 107 children from the local community have participated in the program, and another four Kids Fishing Workshops are being planned for next year.

Funding from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust is contributed to run this fishing workshop program.

These workshops are undertaken in partnership with Aboriginal groups/organisations and educators, and are free to each participant.

The workshops not only offer Aboriginal children fishing skills, they also teach them social interaction skills and provide a great opportunity for the parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles to share their knowledge.

The 27 kids involved in the workshop received a rod, reel, hat, tackle box, educational material and got to choose a prize to recognise the knowledge and experience they have gained on fishing and Aboriginal culture.

Coordinator of the Command’s Kids Fishing Workshop Program, Inspector Steven Johnson said, “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 they had some fun.”

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