On the 24 April a group of 56 children supported through the Kookaburra Kids Foundation participated in a specially organised VEGEMITE SurfGroms program under the Surf For Life Project.
The Kookaburra Kids Foundation provides support for children who live in families affected by mental illness. They offer free weekend camps and school holiday activities to children who are often the primary carer assuming responsibilities well beyond their years. The children attending came from all over the Illawarra to Gerroa for the day and enjoyed their first ever experience of VEGEMITE SurfGroms. They enjoyed a host of beach games and water based activities; surfed for the first time ever in some great South Coast conditions; and enjoyed a hearty Surf Camp Australia lunch and BBQ.
Currently supporting over 500 children across the Sydney & Illawarra regions, the Kookaburra Kids Foundation enables kids to meet other kids just like them, share experiences in an age appropriate environment, ask questions and get support. The kids are able to be with other kids with similar family situations and begin to feel they are not alone anymore. The respite is a rare break from their home environment where many are the primary carer assuming adult responsibilities at a very young age.
The VEGEMITE SurfGroms program, run under Surfing Australia’s Surf for Life Project was delivered by Surf Camp Australia. They ran an all-day program for these 56 children in perfect 1-2ft surf conditions and clear skies. Despite being a little late in the season, the water was still a balmy 22 degrees celsius! Guy Olbourne, owner of Surf Camp Australia said:
“Surf Camp Australia is stoked to be involved with the Surf for Life Project again this year. Last year was so much fun for the kids and the staff here at Surf Camp Australia, and the Kookaburra Kids Foundation is such an amazing organisation. The kids were great; the surf was perfect for learning once again here in Gerroa; and the day was a success. Looking forward to getting involved again next year!”
Julie Adams – Marketing Manager for the Kookaburra Kids Foundation was extremely glad the foundation had been selected again to participate in the Surf for Life Project:
“In 2013 and 2014 Kookaburra Kids together with Surfing Australia and Surf Camp Australia delivered a VEGEMITE SurfGroms program for the children on our program with great success. We wanted to repeat the program. It was fantastic once again. The guys from Surf Camp Australia were unreal. The weather was perfect and the water 20+ C. The kids loved the surf packs, it really was a great day!”
The Kookaburra Kids Foundation relies on referrals from health and social workers, schools and the general public.
The Surf For Life Project continues to seek additional donations and funding in order to continue to offer similar programs and experiences to underprivileged Australian children from all around the country.