Community Grant helps local children ride the waves of life


Local Noosa children are participating in a program focused on combining traditional and contemporary Sunshine Coast culture, sustainability and healthy lifestyle practices through feel-good surf dance lessons.

The program delivered by Youturn Youth Support was made possible through funding from Bupa’s Community Grants program.

Since 2019, the Bupa Community Grants program has been supporting local initiatives focused on building mentally healthy and resilient communities. Youturn received its funding as a result of a nomination from Dr Leesa Aukett from Tewantin Dental Centre which is part of Bupa’s Dental Network.

Dr Aukett said she has been inspired by Youturn’s work to support child safety, homelessness and mental health issues across southern Queensland.

“I became involved with Youturn 13 years ago when I volunteered for a high school mentoring program with at-risk teenagers. That experience instilled me with a sense of community responsibility which is something Bupa is also passionate about.

“I love living and working in Tewantin, so to allow local kids to learn and grow through this amazing surf wellness program is extremely rewarding. The smiles on all the kids’ faces say it all!” said Dr Aukett

Youturn Engagement Manager, Susan Beaton said this program is being delivered at an important time due to the ongoing social and mental-health effects of COVID-19.

“The events of 2020 brought many of us back to our local neighbourhoods, coming together to talk things over, taking time for family, sharing knowledge, stories and skills, highlighting the strength in traditional First Nations ways of doing things.

“These perspectives are key to the oldest surviving culture on Earth and became the inspiration for us to establish this program with Gubbi Gubbi Dance and Surf Dancer Academy of Surf with the help of the Tewantin Dental Centre and Bupa,” Ms Beaton said.

Through the enjoyment of surfing, and a gained understanding of the ocean and Australia’s First Peoples’ connection to the land, it’s envisaged children will leave the 7-week program with added confidence, respect and community values that will assist them as they transition through childhood and into adults.

In 2020 Bupa provided close to $100,000 to support community groups around Australia through its employee-led Community Grants program. The grants support Bupa’s goal to help build mentally healthy and resilient communities and formed part of more than $3.9m invested in the community in 2020. For more information on Bupa’s approach to sustainability visit here.

To learn more about the program contact Youturn Youth Support visit here.

Media reference number: 20/116