Students participating in the annual Doomadgee State School Exchange were the toast of an official welcome hosted today (October 29) by Griffith University’s GUMURRII Student Support Unit.
The 13 Year Six and Year Seven children from the remote northwest Queensland community of Doomadgee arrived in Brisbane on Monday to begin the 2013 Show Me Your World Tour, comprising 11 days of activities and events not available to them at home.
The students spent Monday afternoon admiring the panoramic views from Mt Coo-tha, where Aboriginal Elder Uncle Des Sandy pointed out the lands of the various Aboriginal tribes in Brisbane.
Today, after a cruise on the Brisbane River and a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art, the students enjoyed lunch at Griffith’s South Bank campus and met guests including Professor of Indigenous Policy Boni Robertson, Indigenous Partnership Officer Mr Glenn Barry, member of Griffith’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee Mr Thomas Sebasio, and representatives from Anglican Church Grammar School, St Margaret’s Anglican Church School and the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts.
The Doomadgee State School Exchange was launched in 2011 as an initiative of the Waanyi Aboriginal Corporation in conjunction with Griffith University’s School of Humanities and Doomadgee State School.
Its aim is to reward school participation, build confidence and create awareness of the potential for students to make the transition from Doomadgee to ongoing education and career pathways.
“What we are doing is planting the seed for future ideas. Without seed, nothing grows,” Mr Barry said.
“We are showing the children what exists outside their home environment and letting them know they have as much right to it as anyone else.
“At the same time, we reassure them that family and community support are always there for them.”
In coming days the Doomadgee students will visit the Gold Coast, Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay, schools and other locations.