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Creative Workshops Support Cultural Education

Bare Hands is a new social enterprise offering an authentic Aboriginal tourism experience to the Sydney market while supporting cultural education for young Aboriginal people. Its first initiative is a fundraising day on the historic Bare Island at La Perouse on December 1 2013 featuring creative and interactive workshops by recognised Aboriginal artists.

 Launched by Peter Cooley of Firsthand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation, the programs aim is to focus on developing the Aboriginal tourism experience on offer in Sydney,  while supporting the traditional inter-generational passing down of knowledge in Aboriginal communities.

 “With the passing of elders, Aboriginal culture is vanishing at an alarming rate,” Peter said.  “Knowledge, skills and experience accumulated over thousands of years is disappearing due to a breakdown in communication between generations. Aboriginal youth in turn, are becoming dispossessed from their cultural identity and confused about their position in society, leading to an array of social problems including one of the highest rates of suicide in the world for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander youth – who are also 19 times more likely to be detained in a juvenile facility.

“Through the Bare Hands event we are aiming to generate funds which can go back into our cultural programs such the successful “Back to the Bush” program which deals directly with the issue of cultural reconnection for Aboriginal youth.

First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation is a registered charity supporting hands-on solutions to issues faced by Aboriginal peoples. First Hand Solutions is an Aboriginal Corporation with DGR status whose mission is to relieve the suffering, distress, misfortune, helplessness, disadvantage and poverty experienced by Indigenous people and at risk youth through the areas of education, training & employment, cultural development and enrichment, and physical and psychological wellbeing.

The workshop program on 1 December includes a shell workshop with local Aboriginal woman, Maxine Ryan, helping create the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge; a Spearhead Cultural Connection with Dean Kelly of Warada Kinshipsharing his knowledge and skills with workshop participants about the manufacturing and creation of this ancient tool/weapon; and a women’s weaving workshop with  Yuin woman, Jess Sinnott, Aboriginal Education Officer and tour guide.

The event will aos include a Catch ‘n’ Nook Cultural Tour around La Perouse that covers the  history of the aboriginal people of La Perouse past and present as well as boomerang throwing.

For more information, including costs and booking, go to

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Alana Lowes

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