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Focus on reconnecting the community at this year’s NAIDOC Running Festival

Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) is partnering with Clothing the Gaps, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), Rule Prostate Cancer (formally the EJ Whitten Foundation) and Wyndham City Council to host the 2022 NAIDOC Running Festival on July 3rd.

The free event offers the community the chance to celebrate this year’s 2022 NAIDOC week theme ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ with a fun run on the lands of the Kulin Nation along the Werribee River.

The festival will help the community to reconnect after two years of lockdown and promote better health outcomes through physical activity. Marquees at the event site will provide a platform for organisations and businesses to engage with the community, supporting stronger connections and enhancing culturally appropriate and safe referral pathways to services.

“Community events like this are especially important when you consider the disparity in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia, the life expectancy gap, and the over-representation of indigenous people in the justice system,” said Minang Noongar man and YSAS Youth and Family Worker, Scott Krakouer.

“Physical activity, and good nutrition play a vital role in reducing chronic diseases prevalent in the Aboriginal community that contribute to these disparities such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.”

“We also aim to drive social connection and participation to help address the over-representation of our community in the justice system.”

At present, Aboriginal youth in Victoria aged 10-17 years old are 14 times more likely to be under justice supervision than non-Aboriginal youth.

“By connecting the community’s young people to sport and recreation opportunities and surrounding them with positive role models and peers we hope to reduce reoffending as well as promote better health outcomes” said Krakouer.

The 2022 NAIDOC Running Festival is open to the public and will be held at 10:00 AM on Sunday, July 3rd at Presidents Park, Wyndham Vale.

Everyone of all ages is welcome, whether Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal. Register here: NAIDOC Running Festival — YSAS

2022 NAIDOC Running Festival

Sunday, July 3rd @ 10:00 AM
Presidents Park, 370 McGrath Road, Wyndham Vale
Events: 10KM, 5KM, 3KM, 1KM

(The event is inclusive of all abilities and is wheelchair accessible).

More Information:

  • The Werribee River holds significant cultural relevance with the Aboriginal Traditional Owners.
  • The day also includes a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, traditional dancers, free lunch and free face painting.
  • On completion of the event, every participant will receive a medal and singlet to celebrate their achievement.
  • Participants can run, walk or roll so that everyone can come together and celebrate.
  • Marquees on the event site will be showcasing businesses and services that work with the Aboriginal community, particularly in the western suburbs but also across larger parts of metropolitan Melbourne.

About YSAS (Youth Support + Advocacy Service)

The Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) is Australia’s largest, youth-specific community service organisation. Operating since 1998 as Victoria’s flagship Youth Alcohol and Other Drug service, YSAS now employs over 370 skilled staff across 19 sites in metropolitan and regional Victoria. While the prime focus of YSAS remains on effective Youth AOD treatment and sector leadership, the organisation also has extensive experience in providing young people and families with services that support improved mental health and improve meaningful community participation.

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