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Lots of horsing around

With half of Australia used for agriculture, it might come as a surprise that many people living in the city never see or experience rural life.

But thanks to the Huddle, eyes are being opened wide.

A visit to Chesterfield Farm; a fully working estate in Scoresby, was too good an opportunity to turn down.

All in attendance afforded a real hands-on experience with even the most sheepish children, getting involved.

“The sheep feel just like one of my woolen jumpers!” one participant exclaimed.

Another had the opportunity to milk a cow.

“This is crazy!” She said of the experience.

Covering more than 600 acres, the farm offered plenty to those joining the excursion as part of The Huddle’s school holiday program.

“A lot of the kids who came had never been on a farm before, never mind one this big,” The Huddle education coordinator, Ruth Game, told North media.

“They grow up in the city or in the Northern suburbs, and don’t make it out to the country.

“The reason that we did this farm visit is because last school holiday, we were taking the kids surfing, and they were so excited when they saw sheep.”

Many of the kids come from Somali, Vietnamese, Comoros, and Eritrean backgrounds and loved everything about ‘Aussie’ farm life.

Though tentative about getting close to cows, horses, and sheep, once the initial hesitation and nerves dissipated their excitement overflowed.

Even one of the mothers, who tagged along, was well out of her comfort zone letting one of the horses nibble a snack out of the palm of her hand.

Though something as simple as petting a horse, or taking a tractor ride, may seem mundane, it’s all about broadening horizons and providing experiences these kids might not otherwise have.

The school holiday programs are designed to listen to the children and family members, and create experiences and opportunities accordingly.

Besides the farm visit, there were theatre shows, acrobatic performances, mountain bike rides, laser tag, and more.

More than 350 people were involved across twelve sessions in North Melbourne and Wyndham, showing The Huddle’s school holiday program is just getting bigger and better every year.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs