Over three days in early August this year, 15 young people and 6 volunteers from the Glen Innes community visited the “Willows” property, located roughly 70kms away from Glen Innes in the New England bushlands. The main objectives of these trips were to give the young people the chance to be outdoors, wet a line, and pull in a big one!
As many of these young people hadn’t had the opportunity to fish before, the first day involved a lot of teaching and learning about how to get the lines ready to fish. With a bit of guidance, the young people got the grasp of this very quickly and were excited to get started. Before this could happen though, the young budding fishing crew were told about legal fish sizes and the importance of abiding by these rules to ensure the wellbeing and future of the fish in the river system.
After this, the grouped trekked off through the shrub to a ‘secret location’ and everyone threw a line in the water. The peaceful surroundings gave everyone the opportunity to relax without access to Facebook and mobile phones to distract them from the task at hand; enjoying themselves in the current moment. Being so far from town, the young people were fortunate to see a platypus among other birds and wildlife. For many, this was also a first.
Whilst ‘the big one’ never appeared, all of the fifteen young people and the volunteers had an incredibly fun and rewarding time with one another. New friends were made, everyone was able to relax in the peace and quiet and for some, a new hobby was found. After a big storm on the afternoon of the third day, we all drove back into town with most of the young people falling asleep on the bus. When we arrived home, all of the young people thanked everyone for the experience and only had one question to ask “when can we do this again?”
Fish N Mates was made possible through the contribution of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)