Leon brings it back home

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALL­BONE

POP­U­LAR ac­tor Leon Burchill was back in Moss­man this week and says there’s no place like home.

Af­ter spend­ing a few days catch­ing up with fam­ily and friends, Mr Burchill was in­vited to the Yarrabah Youth Em­ploy­ment and Ca­reers Expo yes­ter­day to in­spire youths to achieve their dreams.

MC Elve­rina John­son said the event is very im­por­tant to the peo­ple of Yarrabah as it shows that there are no ends to pos­si­bil­i­ties in life.

“For Yarrabah’s com­mu­nity, it is vi­tally im­por­tant that we ed­u­cate and en­cour­age our youth with train­ing and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“It means start­ing as young as pri­mary school with a fo­cus on the 14-25 year age group,” she said.

Event di­rec­tor Kathrena Mcrae said that Leon Burchill was a per­fect ex­am­ple of a young in­dige­nous per­son who left home to pur­sue his dreams.

“One of the rea­sons we chose Leon was be­cause he is a good ex­am­ple of some­one who did re­ally well in school, he is a lo­cal and a great role model to the in­dige­nous chil­dren liv­ing in the re­gion,” she said.

“I think a lot of kids in the Yarrabah com­mu­nity are very close to their fam­i­lies and shift­ing away from em­ploy­ment and train­ing is a big is­sue for them, so it’s im­por­tant that we can open their op­por­tu­ni­ties with great ex­am­ples,” she said.

Mr Burchill was an in­spi­ra­tion to the chil­dren as he shared his jour­ney of be­com­ing an ac­tor through his stud­ies of Vis­ual Arts at the Cairns In­sti­tute of TAFE and later his stud­ies of Drama at Swin­burne Uni­ver­sity in Mel­bourne for a Diploma in The­atre and Small Busi­ness.

He is an ex­am­ple of a young in­dige­nous per­son who moved to Bris­bane to study at the Abo­rig­i­nal Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts and later au­di­tioned for the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Dra­matic Arts - where he was the only abo­rig­i­nal stu­dent.

“I’ve never thought of my­self as a role model but I know how im­por­tant it is to share and in­spire oth­ers through what I’ve achieved,” Leon said.

“I have per­formed in nu­mer­ous plays in the­atre over the years, in­clud­ing Shake­speare and sev­eral short films and doc­u­men­taries, along with my lat­est fea­ture film Stone Bros,” Mr Burchill said.

His next ad­ven­ture is an Aus­tralian fea­ture which is yet to be ti­tled, how­ever his lat­est project was an advertisement with Bund­aberg Rum which has just re­cently been re­leased.

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