The Burbangana (Taronga Zoo) and Walanmarra (Taronga Western Plains Zoo) programs are a joint initiative between Taronga and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services – Community Services (formerly DoCS) that gives young people the opportunity to engage in activities in and around the Zoo. Participants are referred to the programs at Sydney and Dubbo from Department of Family and Community Services – Community Services and attend the program for 12 weeks.
Burbangana is a Dharug word of the Sydney language meaning ‘take my hand and help me up’ and aims to ‘Reawaken the Spirit of Belonging’ with its young people, reconnecting and strengthening them in knowledge, spirit, relationships, country and culture.
Walanmarra is a Wiradjuri word which means ‘to make strong now’ representing the ethos of the program working towards strengthening Aboriginal children, in their skills, learning and attachment to land and culture.
The programs provide opportunities for children to have positive experiences to:
- Increase semse of identity and reconnection for Aboriginal children
- Learn how to get along with people
- Learn how to manage emotions and behaviours in ways that promote positive social oppurtunities
- Learn to care about the environment
- Develop self esteem and confidence