Recently Fortem held an exciting wellbeing activity for West Gippsland first responder families at Gumbuya World in Victoria. We had a great turn out on a beautiful sunny day. The weather was perfect. Blue sky, no wind and the temperature just reaching 30 degrees. Perfect for jumping waves in the wave pool, watching Mum try to surf or riding the tree swing. For those a little more adventurous the hour long wait to climb all those steps to go down one of the awesome water slides, was worth it. And for those who really just needed to chill out, the 300 metre lazy river was too relaxing to only go on once.
A great fun way to be active, the families participated in water activities and walking and exploring. Some families were only into the water activities and thrill rides, whereas others enjoyed the lazy river ride and animals. It was a good activity for families with different fitness levels as well as different “courage levels” to be able to enjoy.
For those non adventurous people, we enjoyed the wildlife trail including the beautiful macaws and electus parrots. The dingoes were out for a bite to eat as we passed and as we could have all guessed, the koalas were sleeping! Despite being busy, the staff at Gumbuya world looked after us and had set aside a huge marquee with tables and seats in the shade. We felt very spoiled.
Making connections is an important aspect of Fortem wellbeing activities. Several families commented about how much they appreciated being able to do a family activity together. Each family sat together in the marquee, where siblings talked excitedly about their favourite rides and planned their next activities.
One family shared how they had only moved to the area recently, and challenging circumstances meant they had not made connections and didn’t have any support network around them. The opportunity for partners to make connections was an excellent reason to attend a Fortem activity. “Building up those family connections is really what we’ve noticed we need to work on…”
It was also the perfect opportunity for families to talk with Julie, our Fortem activities officer, to learn about Fortem Australia and the support and activities available. Julie enjoyed being able to share a little in the journey of the families of first responders who took time out to stop and have lunch, and to make the connection.
Find a West Gippsland region Wellbeing Activity on our Calendar.