Doomadgee students get taste of big smoke

Doomadgee State School students Selward Aplin, Kerrianne Corporal, Bryher Foster, Elliot Aplin and Samuel Johnston.
Doomadgee State School students from left; Selward Aplin, Kerrianne Corporal, Bryher Foster, Elliot Aplin and Samuel Johnston at the GUMURRII Welcome Lunch at South Bank.

Twelve Doomadgee State School students are experiencing life outside their remote community as they embark on an11-day Show Me Your World Tour throughout south-east Queensland.

The tour is an initiative of the Waanyi Aboriginal Corporation in conjunction with the School of Humanities and Doomadgee State School.

With a population of less than 1300, Doomadgee is located in Queensland’s Gulf Country just 120km east of the Northern Territory border.

School of Humanities lecturer, Dr Kerrie Foxwell Norton worked with the Waanyi Aboriginal Corporation to establish the Doomadgee program in 2011.

“Visiting the opposite end of Queensland to what seems like another world from the small 1200 strong remote community of Doomadgee, what we really want is for the students to feel like this is their world too,’’ she said.

The students will explore Brisbane, Stradbroke Island, the Gold Coast, Northern New South Wales, Tweed Shire and Byron Bay.

Dr Kerrie Foxwell-Norton said the tour has done wonders for Doomadgee school attendance.

“The tour is not only a wonderful experience for students to experience ‘the big smoke’ but also is an incentive to attend school and encourage school achievements.”

“It’s an investment in the young people of Doomadgee and their future.”

Waanyi Aboriginal Corporation Community Projects Officer Charlene Cressbrook, emphasised the role the tour plays in bridging the gap between the remote community and other places.

“The tour plants seeds in these young people which helpsthem togain confidence in themselves and their future,’’ Ms Cressbrook said.

“They begin to understandthrough their tour experiences that they can be proud of their culture and share it with the wider community – and othercommunities will happily share their culturestoo.”