Fishing and Cultural workshop for Indigenous youth

Industry & Investment NSW (I&I NSW), in partnership with Lake Macquarie High School, will run a fishing and Aboriginal cultural workshop for Aboriginal school students at Lake Macquarie this week.

The workshop, which aims to teach young people about responsible fishing practices, is part of a state-wide program run by I &I NSW and funded by the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust.

I&I NSW Fisheries Community Relations Manager George Mannah said the day is structured around learning to fish, but he hopes students will learn much broader life lessons.

“The workshop will cover everything you need to know to get out there and start throwing a line in,” Mr Mannah said.

“Our expert staff will go through fishing safety, conservation, rules and regulations, rigging and gear, baiting and casting, fish identification and how to clean, gut and prepare fish.

“Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal Educators and Lake Macquarie High School teachers will also attend the workshop and they will be teaching students about indigenous culture and life skills in general,” he said.

Mr Mannah said every child who attends will receive a rod, reel, hat, tackle box, educational material and a certificate of Achievement for all the knowledge and experience they have gained on fishing and Aboriginal culture.

Lake Macquarie High School teacher Michael Beecham said the 25 Aboriginal students booked for the course were aged between 12 and 16.

“The fishing workshop is part of a program for our Indigenous students called “Bro Speak,” Mr Beecham said.

“The Bro Speak program focuses on Aboriginal culture and identity and is designed to motivate and engage students in their education by providing a variety of structured activities relating to their indigenous culture.

“These topics are to offer students the opportunity to access the curriculum in a more practical and interesting manner, as well as benefitting from the expert knowledge of Elders and the staff of Industry and Investment,” he said.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday October 20 at Spears Point, Lake Macquarie starting at 10am.

The NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts is funded by the recreational fishing licence fee.

Funds are placed into two trusts, one for saltwater and one for freshwater, and can only be spent on projects to improve recreational fishing.