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The Strong men project aimed to provide training and opportunity for young men from the Wadeye community to explore their cultural and sporting talents in the hope of making a difference.
The young men were relocated to Bright in north eastern Victoria for seven months of the year (football season). They were mentored in education, work part time in the area of tourism and are supported in developing their literacy, life skills, personal health, fitness and strengthening of their cultural identity.
The program worked in conjunction with the Essendon Football Club and the Australian Football League to provide opportunities for the young men to succeed. Under the guidance of the Essendon Football club, the young men visited the club regularly and participated in health and fitness programs, nutrition education and skills training.
The Red Dust Role Model organisation also worked closely with the young men in preparation for their development as Red Dust Role Models assisting in the delivery of the program in Wadeye.
Each participant was required to meet strict criteria (linked to school attendance and cultural knowledge) for entry into the program, as well as maintain high levels of fitness and avoid drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. They were responsible for attending classes, being at work on time, paying rent, meeting fitness requirements, following a health and nutrition plan and meeting all educational and work related expectations. It was also crucial for participants to share their culture within schools in the area.
Abstract adapted from Red Dust Role Models
Red Dust Role Models
Level 1, 397 Chapel Street
South Yarra Vic 3141
PO Box 178
Prahan Vic 3181
Ph: (03) 9826 2500