Taste of indigenous culture for Emerald
"TOGETHER we are stronger" was the theme of the Emerald Indigenous Elders Luncheon which featured traditional cultural dances, exceptional youth speakers and plenty of community spirit.
Luncheon organiser Ross Grierson - who is the Emerald High, Emerald Primary and Dennison Primary School chaplain - said the NAIDOC Week event was 12 months in the making and the result was better than expected.
"The future of our indigenous youth looks bright because of what we saw at the luncheon," Mr Grierson said.
Youths from across the region helped put on the event for the elderly indigenous guests, with Emerald High School students serving food and beverages to traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dances performed by the Blanco, Parsons and Appo families.
"They did a fantastic job," he said.
"Really it's all of us make a stronger team, so that's what I really wanted to get across.
"If we all get together we can help these kids get across the line."
Mr Grierson interviewed four high-achieving youths throughout the afternoon who included under-19s Australian Indigenous Netball captain Miesha Huit, high academic achiever and honours class student Malyce McKewon, high achieving art student Leonie Doyle and Sebastian Stiegler, a successful apprentice with Ford.
"When the kids were giving their testimonials a lot of people were very emotional," Mr Grierson said.
"That was the whole idea as well, was those kids being there and realising if I stick to this I can achieve something. And it's also showing the older people in the town there are indigenous kids in this town achieving something."