Students inspired to ’stand strong’
FIVE Mossman State High School students have been inspired by the theme of ‘‘Stand Strong and Aim High’’ after attending the 2013 Indigenous Leaders of Tomorrow conference in Palm Cove last week.
The conference is centred around the Johnny Ray Ryder Jr poem The Oak Tree and aims to inspire and teach the next generation what it means to be a young indigenous leader while encompassing traditional values.
And there was no shortage of inspiration in the room with filmclips from indigenous leaders Dr Charles Perkins, Cathy Freeman, Eddie Gilbert and Eddie Koiki Mabo acknowledging the importance of leadership, culture and identity.
Year 12 student Cassie Tregea attended for the second time and was the conference’s indigenous junior leader person, setting the scene on the first day by explaining to participants what the conference is about.
‘‘I didn’t have any confidence when I first came to the conference last year but I’ve got confidence now,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve learnt to be proud of my heritage and culture and also to stand up for myself.’’
Her conference highlights included the formal dinner, a beach party and attending the James Cook University campus.
‘‘I’m excited to leave high school now and have been thinking about studying psychology if I get good enough marks,’’ she said.
‘‘We all need direction and the conference gave us something to strive for.’’
Mossman High’s Year 11 students will do their bit to fight discrimination by learning about substance abuse and chronic disease.