Role model returns home
TAHLIA Burchill is back home in Mossman to connect with her indigenous culture after flying high at the recent Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation grand finals.
Thalia and her Brisbanebased team Queensland Cheer Elite came first in three categories at the national titles to become overall grand champions.
This is Tahlia’s first time home in two years after relocating to Brisbane to take up a prestigious place at QUT University studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance.
The Kuku Yalanji teenager has crammed a long list of achievements in her 19 years and is considered a role model in the local community.
“It’s a compliment to be called a role model, if I can do it any one can do it, it would be great for more indigenous people to become recognised,” Tahlia said.
Despite her hectic schedule, Tahlia also finds time to volunteer for worthy causes and is the former chair of the Leukaemia Foundation Mossman district youth committee.
She remains committed and passionate about the cause and even recently shaved her head to raise money and awareness in support of the foundation.
“I didn’t come home last year as I worked full time for four months in my time off for the Leukaemia Foundation,” Tahlia said.
“It’s great to be home again and be grounded, immerse myself back into my culture and feel refreshed and motivated again.”
Thalia is back working at the Daintree Eco Lodge and is one of 54 local Aboriginals who have been trained and employed at the resort as part of the Champions program over the past 13 years.
She remains highly ambitious and dreams of eventually achieving a place in Sydney’s Bangara Dance theatre.
“I’m always striving, my eyes are set on my dream and I’m focused on it,” she said.
More imminently her goal is to be accepted into Level 4 skills development in cheerleading.
“I have been exploring different styles of dance in Brisbane, Latin, hip-hop etcetera, but my love is falling towards cheerleading,” she said.
’I really enjoy the team aspect, particularly as my previous dance experience has been self-focused.”
“Cheerleading in Australia doesn’t compare with America as yet, but it’s continually growing and I hope to be part of that.”
Role model: Tahlia Burchill