Letting children let their hair down and be kids

A large group of children who gathered at Gerroa last week for a day out with Surf Camp Australia. Picture: DAVID HALL

A large group of children who gathered at Gerroa last week for a day out with Surf Camp Australia. Picture: DAVID HALL

KOOKABURRA Kids Foundation clients have enjoyed the adventure of a lifetime, thanks to Surf Camp Australia and Surfing Australia.

The foundation is a Sydney-based charity that run respite and support programs for children living in families affected by mental illness.

Children living in this situation are often the primary carers in the family, assuming adult and parenting roles such as cooking, cleaning and caring for siblings.

By being offered free weekend camps and school holiday activities, the children are able to have a break and mix with other children in similar situations in an environment that is safe, happy and healthy.

"The Kookaburra Kids program gives them a chance to simply be a kid," chief executive Pam Brown said.

"We are a not-for-profit organisation that survives purely from donations, and we are limited to the number of camps and school-holiday activities we can offer the kids."

These school holidays the children enjoyed an extra fun day, thanks to the generosity of Guy Oldbourne from Surf Camp Australia, Gerroa, and Surf Australia.

"Guy has donated his services to allow kids living on the South Coast to have some fun surfing lessons and beach-awareness activities and we really appreciate the kind gesture," Ms Brown added.

"Kookaburra Kids has over 200 kids registered on their program, from Wollongong to Nowra, and typically these kids would need to travel to Sydney for their free holiday fun.

"Thanks to Surf Camp Australia and Surf Australia, our South Coast kids do not need to travel to Sydney or, even worse, miss out altogether and we are so grateful to Guy and his team," Ms Brown said.

The activity was supported by Kookaburra volunteers, which consist of school teachers, psychologists, police and business people who lend their time to supervise the children as well as provide free lunch and refreshments.

For more information about the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation, go to its website at kookaburrakids.org.au.

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