The Going Places-Creating Memories program has operated at Westcare since its first trip to Ceduna, South Australia in 2001. The program began with a simple idea of providing a trip of a lifetime for young people and to help provide them with positive memories which help to balance the trauma that they carry.
Other destinations of this incredibly successful project have included Cape York in 2003, the Franklin River in 2005, Arnhem Land in 2006 and Bare Sands in 2009, which included family members of young people in our therapeutic pilot unit. In total, more than 250 young people, their families and staff have had the opportunity to participate.
Going Places-Creating Memories began with a simple idea of providing a trip of a lifetime for young people and to help provide them with positive memories which help to balance the trauma that they carry. Most of can remember a holiday with family or friends that shaped the people that we have become. Sadly, this is not the case for most of the young people we support.
Over the journey of this program, we have continued to review, reflect, analyse and improve our planning and to design outcome based objectives. This has included reviewing aspects of program delivery including group size, matching, flight times, pre- and post-work, equipment, preparation of staff and what is expected, preparation of agency-promotional products such as films, books, and invites to key personnel, etc.
As a trauma-informed organisation, one of the challenges at Westcare is to consider how to intergrate our knowledge and theories of the impacts of trauma in planning. This includes consideration of how we can plan a meaningful experience which also allows us to promote, support and achieve the results we desire for our young people. With this in mind, the planning for our 2012 trip will be directed by the needs of each individual who participates (i.e. What do we want to achieve for this person? How can we make this happen?)
Work is well under way for a 2012 trip, with planning already occurring for our next adventure in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.