Bungaru Men’s Group Camp to recieve community grant

A planning meeting for the upcoming Bungaru Men's Group Camp toured the site of the 2022 camp. Pictured Left to Right: Teekus Mannings, Andy Nelson, Terry Murray, Joseph Callope and Charles Strang.

A group of Chillagoe men have joined forces to help overcome local challenges and strengthen their community. Wakaman tribe descendant Joseph Callope will lead a third Bungaru Men’s Camp with the support of a My Pathway community grant, local business owners, justice groups and young people.

A Flying fox wire extends from a rocky outcrop at the site of the upcoming Bungaru Men's Group Camp site

Camp participants will take on adventure activities like this Flying fox to build connections and develop relationships with fellow participants.

The Camp is designed to provide local men with an opportunity to come together to discuss any issues they may be facing, connect with others and relearn some of their ancestral skills and customs.

With a tiny population of just 250, employment and entertainment options for the town’s youth are limited, and the connection to culture for young Indigenous men has been falling away. Joseph, who has overcome a dependency on alcohol and committed to a more productive life, believes ‘Young Warrior’ Camps can help others find a positive path.

Tablelands Community Justice Group Officer Terry Murray is assisting Joseph to implement the ‘perceptions program’ as part of the Camp’s format. This addition helps participants to better understand the justice system and talk about their interactions with the law.

Donga style accomodation amongst trees and anthillsat the 2022 Bungaru Men's Camp site

Accomodation at the 2022 Bungaru Men’s Camp site. 

Other members of the Chillagoe community continue to rally behind Joseph providing support, goods and services. A local business has donated the use of their facilities for the next Camp, including donga style accommodation (pictured) and adventure activities for participants. The General Store Owners will assist with catering and the local CDP provider will loan tools for artefact making and digging the cooking pit for a traditional Kup Murri feast on the final night of the Camp.

Andy Nelson from the General Store gets behind the Camps because they are unifying the community and said:  “Joseph has grown into a respected leader in the town.”

Camp participants have developed connections and demonstrated commitment that has led to job opportunities, and Joseph is actively helping to improve employment options for anyone who comes through the ‘Young Warrior’ Camps.

A short video of some of the men coming together for the 2022 Bungaru Men’s Group Camp, explaining what the camps are about and what they offer for the Chillagoe and wider community.

Joseph was a successful recipient in My Pathway’s second round of #whatsyourReason community grants.