Part of Australia’s beauty is found in its diversity. But diversity without a shared sense of community can lead to sharp divisions.
Through your generous support and a grant from Department of Home Affairs, SU Camps have launched the its first CHAT Super Sports Camp. These events bring campers together, helping them better understand and engage with different cultures and beliefs.
17-year-old lta, who comes from a Samoan background, first heard about the camp through her local church pastor.
“I went along with some people from my church,” lta says.
“My favourite sport was basketball – it was competitive and really fun.
“Even though I didn’t have any school friends with me on camp – I made new friends from different backgrounds and cultures.”
As much as she enjoyed the sport, lta says her favourite part of camp was the group chats after sport ended each day.
“Someone new would get up and speak about how they came to Australia and what it was like in their home country,” lta says.
“I really engaged with it – just hearing what they went through and how life was different for them.
“It changed my perspective. Their lives were so much harder and tougher than what I’ve been through here – a lot of them experienced racism.”
Camp Director Troy Wilson felt inspired and encouraged after seeing cultural barriers break down over the five-day camp.
“The goal is to get kids from different cultural backgrounds to come together, have fun and learn about one another in a safe space,” Troy says.
“Sport is the perfect medium for this. We had some kids who couldn’t speak English really well, but once you got them on a court or a playing field they understood how to work together to score a goal or get a ball over a net.”
The camp had a positive impact on lta. She said she’ll definitely come along to the next CHAT Camp.
“It’s a really memorable experience and heaps of fun too. It taught me that no matter what religion, culture or belief we have, we are still the same in that our humanity makes us ‘one’ – and regardless of our differences and difficulties culturally, we can overcome them all,” lta says.
Your support makes camps like this possible. We couldn’t do it without you. To find out how you can get behind camps like this one, head to suqld.org.au/camps or email firstname.lastname@example.org