In the first week of May, staff members Natalie and Sean flew to Sydney to spend seven working in partnership with the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

The camp was the first one for the year and involved 16 indigenous students in years 11 and 12, from four communities around Australia. The students were selected to participate on the camp as a reward for their strong attendance and great achievements at school and within their communities.

Accompanied by their leaders, teachers and/or elders, along with other Cathy Freeman Foundation staff, the teenagers from Bwgcolman (Palm Island), Galawin'ku (Elcho Island), Wurrumyianga (Tiwi Island) and Woorabinda (Central Qld) all arrived in Sydney after a long day of travelling on Saturday evening.

A few 'get-to-know-you games' soon unfolded before everyone happily settled in to the accommodation at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern, enjoyed some down time and pizza and Subway before bed!

The rest of the week was non-stop action for everyone. From waking up early every morning and being out and about all day, the students participated in many goal setting activities, visiting different schools, universities and TAFE's and learning about all different types of education and employment opportunities.

The students enjoyed some free time exploring around the city, cruising around the harbour, experiencing the joys of catching public transport in peak times and even getting their faces on channel 7 sunrise!

Towards the end of the week, the students had the opportunity to present their 'My Dream' presentations in the famous “Icebergs Restaurant”, looking out over the ocean at Bondi Beach. The week ended with a twilight climb over the Sydney Habour Bridge. It really was the best way to highlight a fantastic week before it was time for everyone to head home

On behalf of Cottage by the Sea, Natalie and Sean would like to thank the Cathy Freeman Foundation for yet again another wonderful opportunity - especially to all the incredible students and their community leaders for an amazing time away. We encourage each and every one of them to keep chasing their dreams and goals and to be extremely proud of who they are and where they come from - because the world is their oyster and with that, they truly can reach for the stars!