Life ded­i­cated to youth recog­nised

Narrogin Observer - - Observer News - Cally Dupe and John Dob­son

Camp Kulin founder Tanya Du­pagne is a fi­nal­ist in the WA Re­gional Achieve­ment Awards.

Ms Du­pagne grew up as a city girl but now proudly calls Kulin home, and is a fi­nal­ist in the Com­mu­nity TAB Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Award.

Ms Du­pagne has ded­i­cated the past four years to im­prov­ing the lives of chil­dren, not only those born and bred in WA, but chil­dren who have ex­pe­ri­enced trauma and tor­ture from as far afield as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Su­dan.

“I was run­ning sim­i­lar pro­grams in Perth, and the Shire of Kulin en­ticed me out here and I was blown away by the fa­cil­i­ties, and now I wouldn’t dream of mov­ing back to the city, ” she said.

“It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly those in the city, to un­der­stand what op­por­tu­ni­ties there are here in the coun­try.”

Camp Kulin runs de­vel­op­ment and lead­er­ship pro­grams for chil­dren aged eight to 15, and Ms Du­pagne said 95 per cent of chil­dren who came to the camp when it first be­gan four years ago, have vol­un­teered at sub­se­quent camps.

“Chil­dren come to us from all over the State, and in par­tic­u­lar we run a spe­cific pro­gram for chil­dren who have moved to WA as refugees af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some type of trauma or tor­ture, par­tic­u­larly re­lat­ing to war, ” she said.

“We run pro­grams to work with chil­dren who have other is­sues.

“For ex­am­ple, sui­ci­dal chil­dren and non-ver­bal chil­dren, just as one ex­am­ple, to de­velop trust, self­es­teem, per­se­ver­ance, lead­er­ship — all the skills they re­quire to move for­ward in life.”

Camp Kulin also pro­vides lead­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties for school coun­sel­lors, and pro­grams to pre­pare re­gional, ru­ral and re­mote stu­dents for board­ing school.

Es­tab­lished in 2013, Camp Kulin runs a range of in­no­va­tive pro­grams for young peo­ple liv­ing in WA, de­signed to teach es­sen­tial life skills such as lead­er­ship, re­spect, trust, re­spect, self-con­fi­dence, anger man­age­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

In March, Ms Du­pagne was named RIRDC WA Ru­ral Woman of the Year and was awarded a $10,000 bur­sary to go to­wards de­vel­op­ing two new pilot pro­grams for adult women from ru­ral ar­eas.

The pro­grams will fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing con­fi­dence and lead­er­ship in par­tic­i­pants.

We run a spe­cific pro­gram for chil­dren who have moved to WA as refugees. Tanya Du­pagne

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