Boys leadership & cultural camp at Middle Rock

1 May 2024

In late April, Souths Cares hosted a Boys Leadership and Cultural Camp for 13 participants in the Deadly Youth Mentoring Program, Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) Program and the Liverpool Opportunity Hub. The camp was held at Ingenia Holidays Middle Rock, in the Port Stephens region of NSW on beautiful Worimi Country.

The theme for this camp aligned with the 2024 NAIDOC theme of ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’ with activities and workshops aiming to promote an understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture, whilst building teamwork and leadership capabilities.

The group arrived at Ingenia Holidays Middle Rock on a Monday morning, with their first task being to work together as a team to set-up their swags and establish the camp site. The boys were on the road again soon after, heading north to Myall National Park to spend the day with Miyumba Cultural Facilitators.

The group was welcomed onto Worimi country with a welcome and smoking ceremony by Miyumba Cultural Facilitators, followed by a spear making workshop with each participant making their own spear.

The group then visited sacred sites around the National Park, learning about their cultural significance and the cultural protocols of the Worimi. As sunset approached and on a rising tide, the boys participated in a string ray hunting workshop, learning traditional hunting techniques whilst also developing their teamwork. The day concluded with a BBQ dinner and some stories and bonding around the camp fire.

On Tuesday, the boys were up early cooking breakfast before completing a Leadership Workshop, with Souths Cares mentors discussing the leadership attributes each participant had exhibited within their schools and communities.

The group then headed to Irukandji Shark and Ray Centre, with the older boys swimming with Reef Sharks and the younger boys swimming with Zebra Sharks.

Noah Duncan, a participant in the Deadly Youth Mentoring Program explained swimming with the sharks was one of the many highlights his time on camp.


Some of the best things about the camp were swimming with sharks, learning how to make a spear and having dinner together at a restaurant on the last night. A learnt about respect, and how respecting each other leads to better relationships.

The group then had a brief sight-seeing tour and a swim at the picturesque Boat Harbour rock pools, before a great afternoon on One Mile Beach playing football and fishing.

In the evening the boys headed to Nelsons Bay for a group dinner at an Italian Restaurant followed by a walk along the Bay.

On Wednesday, the boys cooked breakfast again, before participating in a workshop about goal setting and the positive and negative influences which impact our ability to achieve goals. The boys had one final opportunity to work as a team; packing down the camp site before returning home safely to Sydney.

Yileen Gordon, Deadly Youth Mentor explained the group developed some strong bonds during the camp.

“It was great to see the boys from all the programs come together and embrace the opportunities to learn about culture.

The spear making and traditional sting ray hunting workshop was a highlight for our group and I was really impressed with how the boys learnt together”, Yileen said.

The Boys Leadership and Cultural Camp was proudly supported by Ingenia Holiday Parks.