Friday, April 13, 2007

Consider yourself a good horse person?

...and have a heart for helping others?

It's amazing how you end up in the right place at the right time for the important things. I meet up with some gorgeous friends Thursday mornings as part of a prayer group from 7-9am and this Thursday just passed (when I was more than happy to stay in bed rather than go out!) I dragged myself out of bed to catch up with these friends and spend some quality time.

The partner of one of the girls' mum's was down for a visit from Darwin (Australia) and as he asked about what we each did with ourselves, talk quickly turned to horses as I mentioned what I do.

Turns out the guy - Andy - is on the lookout for 'horsepeople' who also have a heart for helping others from troubled backgrounds. His passion in life is focused on Tiwi College.

I'm still reading up on all this but from what I gather:
- Bathurst and Melville Islands (the Tiwi Islands) were proclaimed an Aboriginal Reserve on the 4th of December 1912
- The total land area is almost 780,000 hectares. Melville Island is the second largest islands off the Australian mainland and spans 570,000 hectares. Bathurst comprises 210,000 hectares.
- Tiwi College is an "exciting development designed to provide quality secondary education for all Tiwi young people. The college will be owned and operated by the Tiwi people through the Tiwi Education Board representing all Tiwi families and communities."
- It is to be located at Pickertaramoor on Melville Island, where students will be accommodated in family group homes. The College features ‘24 hr education’ combining classroom learning with sport, life skills, outdoor education and contributions to the life of the College.

Where do the horses come into it?

Andy mentioned that there are thousands of horses running over one of the Islands and that to put them to use, it'd be amazing to be able to place these gorgeous animals with these gorgeous young adults and establish learning and a relationship between the two. Apparently staff are trained to be able to educate and work with the Tiwi people and some of the training involves the 'Monty Roberts' method - for the horses and the young adults!

I'm part of a young adults group at my Church and one of the girls with us that morning who is also 'horsey' commented on how amazing it would be for our young adults group to be able to invest in something like this - our time, money and any hands willing to work over there. And to think - selfish me was just thinking how much fun I'd find it!

Now I tend to job/holiday hop and can't stay in one place for very long and it seems that this kind of experience would require a decent investment timewise (6, 12 months, I'm not sure but will find out!) But if you love working with horses, have a heart for young people and think a change of scene just might be your thing in the near future, then check out the site... and check back here for updates!

"A Dog looks up to a man,
A cat looks down on a man,
But a patient horse looks a man in the eye and sees him as an equal."

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