SSI took 34 young clients on an ‘Amazing Race’-style adventure around Sydney, during the recent school holidays to provide some fun and educational entertainment.
The young people, aged 15-24, were divided into seven teams that were each allocated an SSI case manager or volunteer to be their team leader for the event, organised in partnership with Fairfield MRC.
Each team was given a map and a number of envelopes containing instructions to follow throughout the day, with the objective of completing more activities than any other team. The aim was to have fun while learning more about Sydney and gaining skills for independent living.
The race began at Fairfield train station, where participants were given money to purchase train tickets to the city and asked to answer questions such as ‘What’s the name of the train line that goes to the city?’
Once they’d left the train, the teams caught the free shuttle bus to Circular Quay; visited an Indigenous art exhibition at the MCA; and toured the Opera House, Parliament House and the ANZAC Memorial.
The race winners were announced during lunch at Hyde Park. The winning team – which happened to be the team with the youngest members and a mix of Arabic and Farsi speakers – were rewarded with movie tickets.
When asked what she thought of the day, Nasrin, a young client originally from Afghanistan described it as “perfect”. “It was really exciting, we had too much fun. I loved it,” she said.
“I learnt so many things: how to catch trains; how to find my way around. I met many friends, and all the places were really beautiful.”
The volunteers also believed the excursion was a productive and fun event, SSI’s Acting Community Integration Coordinator Shashika Peeligama said.
“The volunteers said it was fun, practical, and introduced the young people to a lot of learning they wouldn’t have got in a classroom-based orientation session,” she said. “Since this pilot went well, we’re hoping to implement this type of activity again.”