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Event tip #4 Make it practical

People are much happier with a hands-on session where they get to try something themselves rather than it being a demonstration where they watch someone else. Events that engage people in doing an activity have more of an impact and offer more opportunities for interaction and active learning.

Here’s what last year’s best event winner The Junction Community Centre had to say:

‘In previous years as part of Adult Learners Week we’ve organised a trip to Coorong National Park and every year we have a waiting list. This year we got some extra funding so we organised three day trips each to a different region of significance to Aboriginal people. These visits were to Point Pearce,  the Coorong National Park and the Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park. The aim of each trip was to meet with a local elder at each location so people could learn more about the history, culture and plight of Australia’s first people.

‘We took a 48 seater bus with about a third taken up with new Syrian migrants to our area, a third taken up by local indigenous people and the other third for members of the broader community. These are people who don’t normally cross paths with one another. The idea of the bustrips it to improve cross cultural understanding and break down stereotypes.

‘The trips have been a great success in breaking down racism and intolerance and ignorance. You could see it on the way home, people were mixing much more on the bus, sharing stories about what they saw and heard and talking about the things they’d learned on the day.

‘The feedback from the people who took part has been really positive. So many of them wanted to stay longer at each location and spend more time listening to elders’ stories about Aboriginal life and learning the history and experiencing the spiritual connections of the place.’