Stars in­spir­ing pride

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

DOOMADGEE po­lice have added two star re­cruits to their ros­ter as they seek to change the lives of trou­bled in­dige­nous youth.

North Queens­land Cow­boys fan-favourites and NRL in­dige­nous all-stars Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen will fea­ture in a TV com­mer­cial pro­mot­ing the po­lice cam­paign Pride from the In­side to be broad­cast on the Im­parja net­work to a re­mote au­di­ence of more than 420,000 peo­ple.

Doomadgee po­lice of­fi­cer-in­charge Se­nior-Sergeant Matt Camp­bell said hav­ing t he league stars film the com­mer­cial last week be­fore fly­ing to Alice Springs to play was a real coup and could only have a pos­i­tive im­pact.

‘‘ Rugby league is re­ally em­braced within the com­mu­nity, so play­ers like Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen are ab­so­lute role mod­els,’’ he said.

‘‘ When you see the life out HOPE: Cow­boys play­ers Johnathan Thurston ( seated) and Matty Bowen are help­ing po­lice launch

their Pride from the In­side cam­paign by ap­pear­ing in a TV com­mer­cial on the Im­parja net­work here, we need ev­ery­thing we can get to help these kids.

‘‘ One kid out here can watch that ( com­mer­cial) and po­ten­tially change their life.’’

Sen-Sgt Camp­bell said

the Pride from the In­side cam­paign, started by him­self and Se r g e a nt Cat h Pur­cel l i n Novem­ber last year, was a way to pre­vent crime by en­cour­ag­ing Doomadgee’s in­dige­nous youth to be­lieve in them­selves and choose a dif­fer­ent path.

‘‘ I think if we can pro­mote that pride, in­crease lev­els of self-re­spect and sense of hope and am­bi­tion, then they might start to fo­cus more on healthy life­styles and em­ploy­ment and school­ing, rather than the neg­a­tive things all the time,’’ he said.

Thurston said he jumped at the chance to help.

‘‘ There’s no deny­ing there are some se­ri­ous is­sues in these in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties and we’re al­ways glad to help out any way we can,’’ he said.

‘‘ The Cow­boys are a big part of the North Queens­land com­mu­nity and it’s im­por­tant we recog­nise that by tak­ing part in ini­tia­tives like this.

‘‘ The cam­paign they’re run­ning puts out a great mes­sage and I hope it has an im­pact.’’

Bowen said he hoped his con­tri­bu­tion would help to make a dif­fer­ence in the com­mu­nity rid­dled with so­cial prob­lems.

‘‘ Find­ing so­lu­tions to the prob­lems fac­ing in­dige­nous peo­ple is a real pas­sion of mine and I’m glad I’ve had some in­put in this pro­ject,’’ he said.

‘‘ Authorities have a big job on their hands try­ing to fix things in out­back com­mu­ni­ties, so hope­fully what we’ve d o n e o u t h e r e m a k e s a dif­fer­ence.’’

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