Role model re­turns home

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - DONNA-MARIE MILNE

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.