It was identified that some young men from refugee backgrounds were becoming unengaged from high schools in Coffs Harbour. Discussion between teachers and ESL Coordinator at Coffs Harbour High School, established the concept of Eco Outings, a project aimed at engaging young boys between the ages of 13 and 20 to become self-reliant and develop a better sense of identity and belonging, that could assist them to identify and reflect on the importance of engaging in their education.
Whilst the project would be most beneficial to those boys who were already unengaged from school, to maximise the potential of the project’s success by enhancing participation likelihood, it was identified that the project would initially be offered to young boys between 13-20 who were at risk of becoming unengaged in education as a result of their barriers.
Funded by the North Coast Settlement Services, the project would be offered on weekends, it was important to identify young men who would engage in extra-curriculum activities outside school hours.
In order to maximise the exposure of the project to boys from different Coffs Harbour Schools, it was decided to offer the initial opportunity to boys from Coffs Harbour High School and Orara High School. ESL teachers from both schools offered the opportunity to the boys who they believed were most suitable and who would benefit from the project.
- Have fun in the outdoors, with each other, and with inspiring mentors
- Experience adventure based activities that also incorporated interpersonal skill development
- Feel an increased sense of connection to nature, and become empowered with a better sense of identity and belonging