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Story from Sharon Nott, Dunedoo Central School
SWD certainly gave 9 students and 3 teachers from the bush some special memories on their Winds of Joy sail on Monday the 11th December. The program that caters for both students with Disabilities and/or are Disadvantaged gave students the experience of sailing, rigging sails, knot tying, tacking and navigation as well as working with the crew during our sailing journey around the harbour and out through the heads (a slightly bigger mass of water then our local Talbragar river!!). The 9 students from Yrs 9,10 and 11 also got to see some great sights whilst on the water with many boats on the water- a navy submarine passing our bow, navy helicopters, Wild Oats trying to race us (no doubt in preparation for the upcoming Sydney to Hobart Yacht race) and Dr Evil’s ‘HMS Sea Boat’.
Dunedoo Central School has been running the Duke of Edinburgh program for the past 3 years and has a strong focus on youth development through outdoor adventures. Two of the students were undertaking their Silver Award and with Bronze fellow students they were undertaking a 3 day ‘Urban Challenge’. This entailed the students on the Monday schedule planning and leading their journey from our accommodation (at Springwood Scout Hall- for country kids) this was a challenge they took on well. Some examples of their 'Urban Challenge' included having to buy Opal Cards, hooking up with trains to Central and Edgecliff and walking us to Rushcutters Bay. They are now also aware of the ‘quiet carriages’!!. The other activities they had to organise and do over the 3 days included the Grand Canyon walk at Blackheath-oh so pretty; White Water Rafting at Penrith-the thrills of working as a team to get down grade 3 rapids; The Museum of Fire tour-which highlighted the amazing history of firefighting in Australia and the equipment they use(especially relevant following our Sir Ivan Fires in Dunedoo area in early February that wiped out 55000ha of agriculture land) and Penrith Aqua Park.
Dunedoo Central School would like to say a big thankyou to SWD and to Skipper Kathy Veel and her crew for giving our students something special and experiences that can be built on as our students journey through life.
As the Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader at Dunedoo it is fortunate that l heard the radio interview SWD Founder David Pescud had done with Richard Fiddler, and l am glad l followed up with their program. Yes sailing can change lives and gives a freedom that is hard to explain unless you’re on the boat with both students and crew.
Thanks for a great day,
Sharon Nott, Dunedoo Central School