Stirling Times

Born for leadership

- Nadia Budihardjo

A NOLLAMARA resident’s dedication to strengthen young people’s connection­s to Aboriginal culture has been recognised.

Whadjuk Noongar man Derek Nannup, 23, was named WA’s Young Person of the Year at the 2021 WA Youth Awards last week.

Mr Nannup is working in sexual health education at the Aboriginal Health Council of WA and is on the Mirrabooka Police District Youth Advisory Group and the Youth Educating Peers Reference Group.

He also worked as a support worker for children in care at Wungening Aboriginal Corporatio­n and was the Indigenous Cultural Program co-ordinator at Wesley College.

Mr Nannup also also establishe­d the Boorloo Indigenous Youth Yarning Circles, a space for young people to practice traditiona­l healing, discuss culture and community issues.

The Nollamara resident said the award was not just about him but a recognitio­n for his people and the Noongar community.

“I’m really honoured to have been acknowledg­ed as WA Young Person of the Year... that means a lot,” he said. “A lot of the mob have said ‘you’ve got leadership quality’ but all I’m really doing is listening to my

Elders, doing and practicing my responsibi­lity and obligation­s as a Whadjuk Noongar.

“It shows how far we’ve come together, we’re still a long way to go but hopeful.”

Mr Nannup said he wanted to ensure Aboriginal culture and traditions continue for another 80,000 years, with ongoing conversati­ons about shared histories.

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