Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Education team is excited to announce the commencement of a newly developed program called Makin’ TRACKS. The program is designed for Aboriginal youth with Aboriginal values and culture at its heart. Makin’ TRACKS is very flexible and offers courses of different lengths and content for specific age-groups as well as being specially suited for youth from disadvantaged or disengaged backgrounds.
The aim of the program is to connect these young people with wildlife and Aboriginal cultural heritage and country, whilst developing employment skills by providing training and encouraging participation in activities that contribute to the local community.
To date, the program has seen young people gain basic carpentry and labouring skills, animal handling skills, hospitality and customer service skills and has enabled them to earn a statement of Attainment from the Certificate II in Animal Studies through the Taronga Training Institute.
The program has made big changes to the lives of the young people who participated in the initial pilot program and has seen them go on to use the skills gained outside the program.