NSW – Hunter Valley Regional Community Program

2014 Hunter Youth Leadership Project

Welcome parents, teachers and participants to the 2014 Hunter Youth Leadership Project Blog. This blog will provide an opportunity for you to gain insight into the Year Nine and Ten students’ seven day journey of self-discovery while on their Outward Bound adventure in the Kyogle State Forest.

You can expect regular reports and photos every few days, so don’t forget to bookmark this site so you can check in regularly to read about the student’s experiences and adventures while on Outward Bound.

The Hunter Youth Leadership Project is designed to inspire future leaders by providing challenging educational and social opportunities for local students.The program aims to create a dynamic partnership in the local community through a shared experience, enabling participants to understand that they direct their future through their self-beliefs, attitudes, choices and actions.

This year more than 100 students from schools all over Hunter take part in this exciting leadership program.

This program was made possible thanks to the generous support of The Coal & Allied Community Development Fund. Coal & Allied are long-time supporters of community growth in the Hunter region and are committed to programs that provide a long lasting benefit to the wider community.

Day 1

After a foggy morning and one delayed bus, the sun is now out and all is under way for the 2014 Hunter Youth Leadership Program. The Yr 9′s have headed out on their journey with 2 groups doing Raft Building and 1 doing Dangle Duo.

The Yr 10′s have been involved in the Leadership work shop with new ideas, strategies and techniques coming out. They are getting reading for a group cooked BBQ tonight and the 3.15am wake up call to climb up Mt Warning for sunrise tomorrow morning.

Day 2

It was an early start on Day 2 for the Yr 10′s with a pre dawn wake up to climb the impressive volcanic plug, Mt Warning (1159 meters). It was solid up hill hike and scramble, with all participants arriving at the summit with spectacular 360 degree views, taking in the best of Northern NSW & Southern QLD landscape.

The Year 10′s returned to base to wind up their Leadership Workshop, where personal leadership styles were identified and participants were able to put these into practice while participating in high rope activities. They finished off the day with some service along the banks of the Upper Tweed removing madeira vine and finalising their gear prep reading for the expedition part of the program.

Meanwhile Group 1 and 2 in Year 9 have been out exploring the 2500 acre Nightcap property, doing a variety activities including raft building, mountain biking, group tree climbing and hiking. Group 3 have been hiking along the historical Nightcap Trail. The sun is shining and the participants are starting to shine too. =)

Day 3

After a chilling start due to morning fog, most of the participants warmed up quickly as it was a hiking day for Group 3 – Yr 9 & Groups 4, 5 & 6 – Yr 10.

Group 3 hiked through local land owners property and have their eyes set on canoeing on Clarrie Hall Dam tomorrow, It’s safe to say a few of the participants are looking forward to a swim after 3 days without a shower!

The Year 10′s started the expedition part of the program today with Groups 4, 5 & 6 heading off base camp to explore Mebbin National Park, Nightcap National Park and Whain Whian State Forest. Over the next 4 days they will make their way back to where they started via canoeing, hiking and abseiling. We wish them a challenging, safe and rewarding journey.

And not to be forgotten… Groups 1 & 2. Group 1 started the morning with abseiling , followed by a 3km canoe on picturesque Clarrie Hall Dam and a 3km mostly uphill hike to camp. Group 2 had a 5km hike out to Mebbin National Park which they did with good speed, followed by a 12 km mountain bike ride alongside the clear waters of Byrrill Creek and finished off the day by attacking some evil Lantana as part of their community service component.

Overall, another fantastic day out in the Australian bush!

Day 4

More stunning weather up on the NSW / QLD border, great for today’s activities!

In the Year 9′s, Group 1 did a 5km hike and solo activity (an opportunity for self reflection time, allowing participants to think about what they would like to achieve in the future). Group 2 started the morning with an 8 metre Evans abseil, followed by a canoe and 3km mostly uphill hike to camp. Group 3 had a glass flat paddle across Clarrie Hall Dam, solo activity and finished the day with the 8 metre Evans abseil, reports received from the field say that due to the support developed in the team over the last 4 days, the whole group were able to face their fears and go over the edge, a huge achievement!

Meanwhile with the Year 10′s Group 4 had the biggest hike of their program, 16km’s past tranquil creeks and beautiful pockets of sub tropical forest, they were pretty excited to reach camp that night!

Group 5 started with an early bus ride to the hiking start spot, though private landowner property and fire trails to the start of the canoeing, followed by mostly uphill hike to camp. Group 6 hiked along side the dormant volcanic plug, Mt Doughboy into Mt Jerusalem National Park for the 10 metre Gilwah abseil.

Day 5

Cloudy start to the day with rain forecast to come over the area, which didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the Hunter Youth Leadership Participants.

Today we had two groups doing a hike and abseil combo, one group spending time in the National Parks hiking and mountain biking, another group canoeing on the Clarrie Hall Dam with light winds as well as a group doing ‘solo’ under the view of Mt Doughboy.

All groups are sensing they are on the home stretch now with one more night in the bush before returning to base for a night.

Day 6

Final day out in the bush for all the groups, all participants are eagerly anticipating the showers and the celebration. Three groups have a full day of hiking, participants are feeling their hips and feet a bit more this day after having to be self sufficient and carry all things required in their hiking bags.

Two Year 9 groups are spending there day on the Nightcap property doing a variety of high rope challenges.

One group are finishing off with a relaxing canoe on Clarrie Hall Dam and had a short hike to the pick up spot for there bus ride back to where they started many kilometres ago.

Day 7


It’s been an incredibly successful week, with all 100 potential leaders from 13 different schools starting and 100 leaders finishing the course, an amazing result!!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Coal and Allied for providing this experience that enabled participants to understand that they direct their future, through their self-beliefs, attitudes, choices and actions. This program has allowed them to improve their relationship skills with themselves and others, develop a greater self awareness and resilience and the ability to overcome difficulties and to value of doing something for others.

Subscribe to 

our eNewsletter