Stu­dents in­spired to ’stand strong’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.