The power of participation

At Play Our Wellbeing People of Adelaide

South Australian Youth Week (10 – 18 April) showcases young peoples’ extraordinary talents, contributions and achievements. This year's theme is ‘Participate and Celebrate’ – a nod to the 125th Anniversary in 2019 of Women’s Suffrage in South Australia and the positive impact young people can make in their community.

Meet an inspiring young Adelaide local giving up a little of her own time to help preserve a beautiful part of the Adelaide Park Lands.

15-year-old Kexin Chen loves being in nature surrounded by trees, plants and animals. She also loves making a difference. In Adelaide she gets to do both.

With her family, Kexin moved to Adelaide two years ago from China. Living in a city apartment they can easily access one of the biggest backyards of all – the glorious Adelaide Park Lands.

For about 18 months, Kexin and her mum have volunteered in the City of Adelaide’s Bushland Restoration Program at G S Kingston Park / Wirrarninthi (Park 23).

Once a month they join a Park Lands Ranger and other volunteers to plant natives, pick up litter and meet a few local residents like the odd possum, along the way.

Volunteering lets Kexin give back to her new home.

“I feel like this park is my house and I can't let anyone, like, destroy it or do something bad to it."
Kexin Chen, volunteer, City of Adelaide's Bushland Restoration Program

The experience also helps her.

“Volunteering teaches me things I can’t learn in school. From others in the group I’ve learnt how to use different gardening tools and look after plants. They like to talk to me too, which has improved my English.”

What Kexin really wants other young people to know is that volunteering is fun!

“These people come not for money, not for other experiences, it's just that they think it's fun and, like, want to do something for Adelaide.”

Kexin and the other volunteers make a big difference at G S Kingston Park / Wirrarninthi. They help keep this natural city space a healthy home for the animals that live there and a beautiful place to visit. So, cheers to the power of participation – whatever your age!

Talking with Aussies Program

Would you like to volunteer to help international students in Adelaide improve their spoken English skills and feel more settled in our city? 

The University of Adelaide's Talking with Aussies Program matches locals with international students, who then get together for about an hour once a week for a casual chat over a coffee or maybe a stroll in the Park Lands. As well as helping someone new to town feel more at home, you'll definitely learn something new yourself and current volunteers come from a range of ages and backgrounds and include local students, working professionals and retirees. Click here for more information.

Article by

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

Skye is passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. When she's not busy weaving beautiful words together, she's singing a line or two from her favourite song.