Diversitat Fishing Clinic
On the 29th of August, Fishcare’s Port Phillip Facilitator went down to st Helen’s Pier to run a fishing clinic for men who had immigrated within the last 18 months to Australia who had one thing in common – they had come from Syria and ISIS had destroyed and attacked their homes. These gentlemen varied in ages between mid 30s up to their mid 50s with varying levels of being able to speak English, had come to Australia for their second chance, and as part of that they were keen to learn about various activities they could do as Australians. These men were a part of the Diversitat Settlement and Community programs; specifically the Asylum seeker program that is run in the Geelong and Colac region.
One of the activities the men had shown great interest in was fishing. The week prior they had gone cover to cover of the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide and obtained their fishing licence. Jacinta spent an hour teaching them and refreshing them on the rules and regulations on Victoria and why it’s important to follow these rules. Also teaching them how to cast a fishing rod and rigging up a rod. One of the men who had casted a bit to vigorously mid way through the fishing session caused a bit of a tangle in his line, giving a perfect teaching opportunity to show what to do when your line gets tangled. But as it was around 8:30pm at this stage, it meant that the only light was from multiple flashlights in 5 degree temperature demonstrating how to take apart a reel. All the men were extremely grateful for the session as was our facilitator Jacinta who found it a really humbling experience. “To teach people who have been through so much in their lives looking for a second chance was something unexpected but wonderful to be able to do. There is one moment that will stick with me from the fishing clinic, which was when one of the gentlemen said how much he enjoyed being able to fish and look out to the beautiful view around him and how blessed he was to be able to experience this”.