Locals hear message of Swimming the River

WELCOME: Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Mick Haynes welcomed everyone to the launch of 'Swimming the River'.

WELCOME: Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Mick Haynes welcomed everyone to the launch of 'Swimming the River'.

NARRATORS: Wayne Miller and Maureen Smart with their copies of Swimming the River.

NARRATORS: Wayne Miller and Maureen Smart with their copies of Swimming the River.

CEDUNA Aboriginal Corporation (CAC) hosted the launch of an indigenous education DVD on Friday, June 20.

The DVD, titled Swimming the River, is adapted from a metaphor from Ian Trust of the Wanum Aboriginal Community in the Kimberley region and refers to the struggle Aboriginal people have in gaining beneficial opportunities.

It was adapted for the Far West Coast region and also details the cycle many Aboriginal families go through, including dependence on welfare and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Wayne Miller and Maureen 'Mima' Smart were chosen to provide narration for the DVD, with Mr Miller speaking in English and Ms Smart speaking in Pitjantjatjara.

Mr Miller said CAC coordinator Sharon Yendall approached him and Ms Smart to work on the DVD.

"Our dialogue was recorded in one day, it was a great experience to go into the recording studio," he said.

"When Sharon (Yendall) called me about being a part of it, I told her I was fairly busy but when I got a look at it I was inspired to get involved because it's such a powerful message."

CAC chief executive officer Mick Haynes provided a welcoming address before the presentation of Swimming the River, with a morning tea prepared afterwards.

Ms Smart said this was an important message to pass on to the Aboriginal children in the community.

What we put in the DVD is important for our children," she said.

"We need to walk with our children to help them swim the river."

Mr Haynes said this was a very strong message to pass on, especially as people in the community continued to work towards breaking the cycle.

"We need to break the cycle of poverty and alcohol and substance abuse and focus on good things like education, strong family structures and employment," he said.

"At some point we had to learn to swim ourselves, through constant guidance you become stronger and opportunities will open up."

Mr Haynes thanked Ms Yendall for her work with the Breaking the Cycle initiative, Mr Miller and Ms Smart for their acceptance and involvement in the DVD's production, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Ceduna for funding approval and for being a key partner to enable the DVD's production, Centacare Ceduna for their contribution and Mr Trust for allowing CAC to adapt his metaphor to apply it for the local community.

CAC plan to pass Swimming the River on to all agencies in town for their client group, as well as youth and community centres in Ceduna, Oak Valley, Yalata, Koonibba and Scotdesco.

There are also plans for it to go on local radio and is currently available for viewing on YouTube.

For the Wayne Miller video visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=pce3xrgmi7w, and for the Maureen Smart video go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcpTQOnlrRI.

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