Miller Waka canoe becomes a bridge to cultural understanding

Japanese students at the Mission Australia youth centre in Miller speaking to Niu Fiu. Picture: Simon Bennett

Japanese students at the Mission Australia youth centre in Miller speaking to Niu Fiu. Picture: Simon Bennett

Japanese students at the Mission Australia youth centre in Miller speaking to Charlie Fruean and Niu Fiu. Picture: Simon Bennett

Japanese students at the Mission Australia youth centre in Miller speaking to Charlie Fruean and Niu Fiu. Picture: Simon Bennett

MISSION Australia's SWYPE youth centre at Miller hosted a group of international guests last week.

A party of 28 Japanese exchange students visited the youth centre for a two-day workshop.

Youth co-ordinator Niu Fiu said a group of exchange students from Sugiyama Jogakuen University came each year and the centre held workshops specially for them.

"On the first day of the workshop they came to the centre and they learned about the building of the Waka, a Maori canoe," he said.

"It was built in the youth centre by 25 young people, a part of our Crime Prevention Program which helps many young people get off the streets."

Mr Fiu said the students then took part in a Waka-inspired workshop.

"They had to find symbols on the side of the Waka and stick the correct label name on the correct symbol," Mr Fiu said.

"Some of the symbols were the goanna, which was the symbol for Gandangara tribe, National Australia Bank, Nike boot, Croatian cross, Lebanese cedar tree and a mobile phone."

"They also participated in a dance and song workshop and ended up performing at the end of the day."

Mr Fiu said on the second day of the workshop the students travelled to Minto.

"They went went on a tour through the Minto community and participated in weaving and Hawaiian dance workshops," Mr Fiu said.

Details: missionaustralia.com.au.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop