Tasmanians tend to be very familiar with their parks and famous walking trails but for some new arrivals they can be daunting to explore. Get Outside with Community is providing asylum seekers and refugees the opportunity to discover the island’s national parks, improve their English language skills, make friends, and connect with their new home.
Over 250 people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have been on 20 excursions to reserves around Tasmania since the programme began three years ago. Many have come from traumatic backgrounds. The response from participants has been fantastic – they’re often experiencing natural sights like the bush, snow or a waterfall for the first time in their lives. Thirteen participants have now graduated to helping lead walks – making the project more sustainable and helping to pass on more detail about Australia’s plants and animals.
Get Outside means these new Tasmanians have help beating social isolation – and can experience fantastic places like Maria Island, Freycinet National Park and Mount Wellington. It’s helping the new residents gain confidence and a sense of belonging in their new home.
Hear what some of the refugees think of the programme in this ABC story that aired last month.
Chris, Australia’s National Landscapes
Tasmania’s Island Heritage is one of 16 Australian National Landscapes.
Australia’s National Landscapes is a unique tourism and conservation partnership managed by Tourism Australia and Parks Australia. The program encourages collaboration and partnerships between tourism, conservation and local business in 16 premier Australian eco-tourism destinations.