Stars inspiring pride
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.’’