The Castlemaine Rites of Passage was seeded in 2009 from a group operating on Kangaroo Island, South Australia which has been running a Rite of Passage program for men and young men since 1993. (www.kimensweekend.org),
The inspiration for the Castlemaine Rites of Passage came from a group of dedicated local men who were concerned about the health and well-being of the boys and men in their community and Australia in general. There was a profound belief that everyone within a community has an obligation to facilitate a healthy transition from boy to man, which they felt was missing in modern Australian society. The lack of a positive transition process was seen as a key factor in contributing to the prevalence of unhealthy risk taking amongst boys and young men.
We are a group of ordinary passionate men & women who share a deep respect for the land, human nature, ceremony, and each other. We are guides who extend this same respect and caring to each person who feels the call to join us in ceremony. We believe in the positive long-term power of what we are creating within our community. As the focal point, we facilitate a camp in the local bush land for teenage boys, their fathers or male mentor, and single men of any age.
We recognise a common need in our lives and in the lives of other men around us for positive social engagement. We represent the many diverse aspects of our community and come from a variety of personal, professional and cultural backgrounds, yet all with a strong commitment and passion to support other men in their community and society. We have all participated in past weekends and return to support and facilitate the process for others.
We recognise that life is made up of many initiating experiences, both big and small. Each one is precious and offers opportunities for growth. We offer an honoured way to mark one of these more significant life events with community celebration.
We are not affiliated with any organisation, institution, religion or dogma. We are not-for-profit and all facilitators volunteer their time for free to make it happen. No-one receives any payment ensuring the intention behind the group is kept pure.
We acknowledge the many men and women who have given selflessly and continue to give selflessly to make this available. We acknowledge the courage of every man and young boy that steps up and trusts the process. We acknowledge all past, present and future men and women who stand up to lead and volunteer their time to support this and like programs in their communities.
We believe in the importance of what we are offering and take our role with the seriousness such a pivotal community process requires. As such every adult facilitator has a current Working with Children Check, most of the facilitators have current first aid certificates and we have a robust emergency management plan.