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New outback challenge introduced by Operation Flinders

Regional News

A South Australian adventure therapy program has built a high ropes course at its Flinders Ranges station to further develop the confidence of participants.

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At 12 metres high and 40 metres long, the course at Yankaninna Station has seven challenges to conquer, including the “Leap of Faith” and the “Glider Possum”.

Launched on Tuesday by Operation Flinders Chair, Hon. Kevin Scarce, AC, CSC RAN (Ret’d), the course was built over several weeks by ARCB, a Victorian design team.

The Operation Flinders Foundation runs eight-day programs on its Far North property where teenagers between the ages of 13-18 trek up to 100km, experience abseiling, Indigenous culture, bushcraft and build self-confidence through challenging themselves.

The teenagers come from all across South Australia and are typically referred to Operation Flinders as part of a team of 10 from one school or children’s agency.

The high rope course will now join abseiling as one of the peak experiences for participants in the Operation Flinders adventure therapy program.

“With the assistance of over a dozen volunteers, borrowed equipment from neighbouring stations and essential funding from our partners, this now allows us to transform more lives of young people,” Scarce said.

Former participant and now peer group leader Matilda Maclean was the first to tackle the course and said it will really test participants’ nerves and expand their comfort zones.

“I was eager to be the first one up and it was really exciting to showcase the challenging and rewarding nature of the course,” Maclean said.

Operation Flinders helps teenagers build their self esteem with a 100km trek across Yankaninna Station north of the Gammon Ranges. Photo: Ben Kelly, SALIFE

Donors to the new High Ropes activity included the Mary Mattie Foundation, James and Diana Ramsay Foundation, Seeley Foundation and the John T. Reid Charitable Trust.

Operation Flinders CEO David Wark said this year the program will see more than 550 young people use the course as part of their 100km trek across the outback property.

“This new activity on the station will provide an opportunity for young people to stretch their comfort zones and will enable us to expand our program to meet unmet needs,” Wark said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Operation Flinders also offers corportate challenge packages at Yankaninna Station, which will now include the ropes course, and has various fundraising challenges, including its Epic Impact five-day bike trip from Adelaide to Yankaninna.

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