Water safety program engaging youth in culture

TWO days of holiday entertainment at the Macquarie River will showcase the cultural significance of the city's major water source and draw the attention of Dubbo's youth to important safety issues.

From tomorrow between 10am and 3pm, children aged 11 to 18 can participate in traditional canoe making, basket weaving, kayaking, bush tucker demonstrations and a carp fishing competition.

The river and weir safety program is free and has been co-ordinated by council's Aboriginal liaison officer Grace Toomey with Red Cross's regional manager Jacki Wright and food security co-ordinator Eveyln Barker.

Ms Toomey said the Macquarie River was an important part of the lives of Dubbo's youth.

"Through the program we hope to provide a range of cultural holiday activities for the youth of Dubbo, and the Aboriginal youth in particular," she said.

"The aim is to educate them on the importance of the river. Aboriginal elders will be telling yarns from their days living and working on the river so the younger generation can gain an understanding of and develop a respect for the river and its surrounds."

Ms Toomey said it was paramount the city's youth understood the strength of the river and the weir and they didn't take it for granted.

"Rivers and weirs can be dangerous and those who attend activities during the next few days will be making short videos about their own water safety messages," she said.

"The videos will be shown at a public riverside movie night which starts at 7pm on Thursday January 17 at Ollie Robbins Oval and includes a screening of The Sapphires."

To pre-register for activities call Grace Toomey on 0408 689 688. A courtesy bus is available for pickups and drop-offs on all days and morning tea and lunch are also provided.

Children who register on the day must be accompanied by a parent or carer.

For more information visit dubbo.nsw.gov.au.

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