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BE Monday, APRIL 5, 2010

COUNTED Edition 3

ISSN: 1837-9176

Cost: $1.00 this edition Free

Preston Campbell from the Gold Coast Titans pictured with some fans at the at first 2010 FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Expo.

Opportunities at FOGS Employment Expo HUNDREDS of Indigenous job seekers and school leavers headed to the Gold Coast’s first ever FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Expo. They were searching for the right job and hoping to meet one of their Rugby League heros. Managed by the Queensland Former Origin Greats organisation and funded by the Australian Government, the expo provided Indigenous job seekers and school leavers with the chance to explore employment and training opportunities available on the day with some of Queensland’s largest employers and training organisations

including Virgin Blue, Australia Post, Greyhound Australia, Construction Skills Queensland and the Australian Catholic University. The Gold Coast event kicked off a series of expos which will visit six other Queensland towns. And if last year is anything to go by, there should be at least a couple of hundred candidates placed into work. The 2009 FOGS Indigenous Employment and Careers Expos attracted 10,500 Indigenous job seekers and facilitated 2500 interviews with Indigenous candidates and 200 candidates placed in employment or training positions. Hosted by the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition

Centre, the Gold Coast expo also featured special appearances by Gold Coast Titans’ players including Preston Campbell, Luke Bailey, Anthony Laffranchi, Scott Prince and Matt Rogers along with Titans’ coaches John Cartwright and Trevor Gillmeister. Preston Campbell revealed his first job to audience members, but said he always wanted to be a police officer. “My first job was working as a teacher’s aide,” Preston said. “I worked for a couple of years and I really enjoyed that I was helping young kids, and letting them know that there are alternatives out there, and that you will benefit if you’re

willing to put the work in.” Scott Prince revealed his first job was flipping burgers at McDonalds when he was 15. “The old man put a stop to that and said I had to focus on school,” Scott said. Former Origin Great Sam Backo was joined by other league greats Gary Belcher, Chris Close, Ben Ikin, Allan Langer, Colin Scott and Kevin Walters. They encouraged guests to engage with the new Try-a-Trade display where they could try the skills required in the horticulture, automotive engineering, marine construction and health and beauty industries. For information head to the FOGS website at www.fogs.com.au


It’s Zumba time

Contents Story: Closing the gap on education ........... P3 Feature: Walking for life ........................... P4 Cooking up: Anzac Biscuits ........................ P6 Art: Narelle Urquhart .............................. P5 Editorial, Youth Space, Services................. P9 Sport: Back of the net with James Brown .. P10 Sport: League for life ................................P12

All the girls are still pumped after a Zumba class. Story and photos by SOLUA MIDDLETON Indigenous women on the Gold Coast are getting fit Zumba style. The Monday class at Coolangatta is attracting many who are leaving their shame face at home as they let loose and shake their way to a healthier body. Participant Loretta Rotumah said really enjoys the class. “It’s really good to do and you don’t feel self conscious at all, it’s fun,” she said. Fellow Zumba goer Mleeka Hart agrees. “I reckon it’s pretty deadly,” she said. “It’s good to see everyone having a go.” The Zumba classes are an optional part of the Healthy Me project, a partnership initiative between Kalwun Health Service and Krurungal. Women’s Issues Officer at Krurungal, Eileen Summers said the program is about a holistic approach to lifestyle changing. The Healthy Me is a 12 week lifestyle changing program. It is intending to facilitate health change in highly overweight and obese Indigenous clients through the use of a multi-modal approach loosely based on the concept behind the reality television program The Biggest Loser. Clients taking part in the Healthy Me

program are required to participate in five hours of program activities such as Zumba. The main elements of the program include; health screening, self monitoring and record keeping, behavioural intervention, exercise and nutrition. Program Coordinator Clinton Shultz from Kalwun Health Service said there is 14 clients and 12 staff taking part in the course. “It’s about trying to shed weight through lifestyle changes and changing habits,” Mr Shultz said. “It also aims to try and reduce chronic illnesses.” There are just four weeks left of the challenge until a winner will is crowned. That person will take home a prize. Mr Shultz said they are all looking winners at the moment with the confidence and pride they are showing, however the clients’ success will be measured in many ways to determine a winner. “The judging panel will look at the percentage of body weight lost, the blood glucose levels, blood pressure, respiratory function and overall lifestyle changes,” he said. For those women interested in coming along to the free Zumba class for Indigenous women, contact Kalwun Health Service on (07) 5526 1112 or Krurungal on (07) 5536 7911.

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This paper acknowledges the traditional owners of the areas of distribution. DISCLAIMER: All material is printed at the discretion of the publishers, but does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY: All letters must be signed (name will be withheld on request) profanity is unacceptable. All letters are subject to editing for clarity by the editor. The publisher or editor of Be Counted reserves the right to edit or withhold from publication any letter for any reason whatsoever. Letters reflect the opinion of the author, not necessarily that of Be Counted or its staff, nor does it take any responsibility of the views stated by those who write to the editor. COPYRIGHT: All material in Be Counted is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission of the publisher. © Be Counted 2010 EDITOR: Solua Middleton PUBLISHER: Solua Middleton Email: becounted.mag@gmail.com Phone: 0411 737 161 For advertising rates email becounted.mag@gmail. com or call 0411 737 161 Printer: The Print Spot, 18-20 Quarry Rd, Murwillumbah. Be Counted would like to thank this edition : Gold Coast United, and contributors Pascale Barbot, James Brown, Darren Hart and Dahri Wharton.

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Community speeds up PACE to close the gap

From left: Theresa Harrison, Janelle McQueen, Aunty Patricia Leavy, Aunty Bev Anderson, Aunty Josie Appo, Aunty Joyce Summers, Aunty Daphne Houston and Karen Wensell. MORE than 65 people turned out to talk about closing the gap on Indigenous education recently. The community gathered at the Palm Beach Sports Club mid-March to discuss the changes to the Indigenous programs and funding. One of the new changes that have been implemented is the Parental and Community Education (PACE) program. PACE replaces the Partners for Success program. Aunty Joyce Summers said: “The idea of PACE is to encourage and educate parents to have more awareness of their children’s education.” Karen Weigal and Glen Andrews from the funding body Department of Employment Education and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) also attended the meeting as well as a cross section of the community who included parents, teachers, Indigenous teachers aides, organisations and community. Mrs Summers said the main question

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AUNTY JOYCE SUMMERS was how the local community could access funding. “The meeting decided that a committee from the Gold Coast should be formed and also an auspice body to accept the funding,” she said. “The community voted that Krurungal,

FOR beautiful, shiny clean jewellery, use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste Rub lightly, rinse and polish with a towel.

an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Welfare Resource and Housing to be the auspice body. “A committee was elected with people representing the different schools.” Tracy Ritson was elected chairperson and Marlene Appo the vice chairperson. Attendants of the meeting were told that funding perhaps could be found for a coordinator to coordinate and help the community to get programs happening. “The meeting then put it to DEEWR that if possible Gold Coast would like to have two coordinators one for the northern and one for the southern ends,” Mrs Summers said. Aunty Joyce said this was an important meeting to inform the community of the major changes that are now taking place within the education system. The next meeting will be held April 13 at Palm Beach Currumbin Sports Club. For more details contact Krurungal on (07) 5536 7911 or email jsummers@hotmail.com

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A walk for life Story and pictures by SOLUA MIDDLETON

HE may only be 15, but this teenager from West Tweed is walking to save lives. Dylan Finn will walk more than 3500 kilometres from Tweed Heads to Darwin in the Northern Territory to raise awareness of youth depression and suicide. It’s an issue which is close to the Tweed River High School student’s heart. Last June, Dylan lost his 23 year-old brother to suicide, and it’s something he doesn’t want anyone else to go through. “He was a good footy player and even was offered a contract with the Eels,” Dylan said of his brother. It was this tragedy which sparked Dylan to take on the mammoth walk towards encouraging people to get help. “I just want to raise awareness around youth depression and suicide and encourage people to get help,” Dylan said. Dylan is in training for the long journey which he hopes to complete next year. He says if he can walk 100 kilometres a day it should take him at the very least 35 days. “I’m doing training and I recently walked to Helensvale, but I had to stop becuase it was getting a bit too dangerous on the road,” he said. “This weekend I am walking to Byron Bay.” In 2007, there were 89 deaths by suicide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the five states and territories. According to the Mindframe website, the percentage of all deaths attributable to suicide is much higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (3.7% in 2007) than Non-Indigenous Australians (1.3%) in specific states and territories. Suicide is more concentrated in the earlier adult years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians than for the general Australian population with 2003 data indicating the highest rates for both males and females being in the 15 to 24 year age group. If people want to support or sponsor Dylan contact Be Counted on becounted.mag@gmail.com or 0411 737 161 for details.

Dylan Finn plans to walk from the Tweed to Darwin to raise awarness of depression and suicide.

If you are feeling distressed and would like someone to talk to contact these support numbers and website: LIFE: http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/FAQ.html Beyond Blue info line: 1300 22 4636 Lifeline: 13 11 14 Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 Find us on facebook to see more pictures, topics and events. 4

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Close the Gap Story and photos by SOLUA MIDDLETON

A NUMBER of Aboriginal and Torres Strait organisations and services came together in an effort to close the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Close the Gap Information and Networking night held at Robina attracted more than 60 people wanting to know more about local services and what they can do to close the gap. The event was put on by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership Advisory Council and the Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders Advisory Council. Event organiser Valmai Saunders from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships said it was important to identify the reasons why a gap might exist. “To Close the Gap on the Gold Coast it’s important to look at the issues here like identification, lack of resources, visibility, lack of cultural connectedness and bringing our community together,” she said. “Partnering through our local Elders and workers will help in the above mentioned issues. “The ATSI Partnership Advisory Council was formed to look at ways to better work together to improve the health and social and emotional wellbeing outcomes of our people.” Valmai said the night was extremely important for the Close the Gap campaign. “We have over 5000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people residing on the Gold Coast, yet there is still a perception from the general community (non-Indigenous) that there aren’t many Indigenous people on the Gold Coast,” she said. “As a community it’s important to be visible and show that we are here and that we do offer services for our community. “It is important that people realise that to Close the Gap it is vital to concentrate on urban areas as this is where the majority of ATSI people reside.” Valmai said she was impressed with how the night went. “It was about networking and sharing information, so I do believe it was a success as there was a lot of interaction going on with those that attended,” she said. “It was a great opportunity to promote the awareness and support the Closing the Gap campaign as a community as improving the health and social and emotional wellbeing of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the Gold Coast is the aim of both ATSI Councils.”

L-R: Nicole Dyer, Aunty Lauis Williams, Aunty Lana Boondi Williams, Chris Green and Rhonda Wilson. L-R: Anne Curson, Julie Slabb, Lizzie Hannah, Lesley Wendt, Tracey Ritson, Aunty Josie Appo and Aunty Marg Cora.

ABOVE: Aboriginal surfer Munga Barry with his wife Krista. RIGHT: L-R: Valmai Saunders, Margaret Mills, Melissa Browning, Aunty Lana Boondi Williams, Aunty Joyce Summers, Michael Aird, Marcia Dwonczyk, Tracey Ritson and Clinton Schultz. LEFT: Brook Turner-Mann

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FOGS Expo offers job opportunities for youth

TOP LEFT: Former Origin Great Sam Backo with interested students. ABOVE: Howard Williams from Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA). TOP RIGHT: Virgin Blue Recruitment Advisior Will Muckan. LEFT: Jessie Williams and Perina Drummond from Queensland Health. RIGHT: Indigenous Hospital Liasion Officer Christopher Keuntje and Aunty Daphne Houston.

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Monday April 5, 2010

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Straddie celebrate culinary skills COOKING healthy food was celebrated on Stradbroke Island. Yulu Burri Ba took out the Good Quick Tukka cook off and celebrated with a feed fit for a king. The Good Quick Tukka program is based around Jamie Oliver’s concept of passing on healthy recipes and kitchen skills. Lindsay Johnson from Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council said there was an increase in cooking skills among participants. “It’s aimed at school kids, the elderly, those who live alone and young Dunwich mothers,” he said. State “But Mr Johnson says one of the big challenges School is getting people with students little confidence in the prepare kitchen to come along. food while If you would like to others can’t know more contact wait to QAIHC on taste it. (07) 3328 8500

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Cooking up ANZAC Biscuits

This ANZAC biscuits recipe is an oldie but a goodie from the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbooks - Cooking Class Basic Ingredients • • • • • • • •

1 cup (90g) rolled oats 1 cup (150g) plain flour 1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar ½ cup desiccated coconut 125g butter 2 tablespoons golden syrup 1 tablespoon water ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Cooking directions

1. Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl. Combine butter, golden syrup and the water in small saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until butter is melted; stir in soda. Stir mixture into dry ingredients. 2. Place rounded teaspoons of mixture 5cm apart on lightly

greased oven trays; bake in moderately slow oven about 20 minutes or until biscuits feel slightly firm. Use spatula to loosen biscuits on trays; cool on trays.

Serve

Makes 25 biscuits Rating: Easy Time: Preparation time 15 mins * Cooking time 25 mins (plus cooling time)

Each edition of Be Counted, we will showcase one our reader’s recipes. Send in your recipe and a photo of your culinary delight, with your full name and contact details to email becounted.mag@gmail.com BE COUNTED

Monday April 5, 2010

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Bright shining ‘art’ star By PASCALE BARBOT

GOLD Coast Aboriginal artist and owner of Morning Star Aboriginal Art, Narelle Urquhart has been painting her unique range of Aboriginal artworks depicting the Gospel and her life experiences for over 13 years. She says, “Each painting depicts the truths of God’s Word using Aboriginal traditional art to bring restoration, new hope and vision, not only to Aboriginal people but the wider community.” Born in 1971 of the Wiradjuri tribe in Leeton NSW and second youngest of six children, Narelle came under the care of the Government welfare system when her Aboriginal mother and Australian Scottish father separated. Since this time, Narelle moved throughout Australia under the welfare system, sometimes with her father and aunty, until at the age of 14, she left to live on the streets of Melbourne for a year. “I got to know my mother around this age,” she said. “She was one of the Stolen Generation and was heavily involved in the political arena, representing Aboriginal people. “She was also an artist and an author.” Before picking up the paint brush, Narelle moved to Queanbeyan, just outside of Canberra where she bought a home and had three children. After a few close family deaths, Narelle at age 26 was inspired to paint, as a method of processing what had happened in her life. “The things that inspire me are creation itself, animal, plants and peoples stories and beliefs,” she said. “My main focus is my Christianity, as artists you tend to paint things that reflect who you are; you paint the things that are at the foremost of your feelings and thoughts.” Narelle believes that her art came alive after she moved to the Gold Coast in 2000 and began attending a church with a local Aboriginal leader. “In the months prior to moving, I had felt God was leading me to Him and at a Murri Koori Conference I decided to give my life to God. “Nothing has been the same since,” she said. “My desire now is to promote the Gospel through my artwork and bring a revelation of God’s word to us visually. “I spend time praying and supporting communities on the Gold Coast, and through school culture classes and local Indigenous groups, working for

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ABOVE:Artwork titled Seven Days BOTTOM LEFT: Artwork titled Child is Born BOTTOM RIGHT: Narelle Urquhart

reconciliation for our community, our city. “My community work tends to change with the needs, I have worked with schools both primary and secondary, these range from art workshops through to cultural awareness talks that cover the effects of the Stolen Generation. “I have also spoken at Sydney University, Griffith University as well as Bond University on this subject as well as women’s health and housing issues.” Narelle has also just recently joined a group to help set up and facilitate programs to Close the Gap. Narelle’s vision for the future is that we

Monday April 5, 2010

move into a time of unity where we can recognise and change things to improve outcomes for not only our lives here and know but for generations to come. “I would like to see the wider community change in its attitudes and misconceptions of the Aboriginal people through local governments, schools, community groups as well as media etc. Small changes can bring big outcomes,” she said. “Reconciliation really is everyone’s responsibility.” Visit Narelle’s website at www.morningstaraboriginalart.com.au

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YOUTH SPACE Be Counted is really wanting to focus on youth and share their voice with the wider community. Youth Space is dedicated to young people sharing their voices, the issues that impact them as a young Indigenous people, whether they are triumphs or tragedies or just a good laugh. Be Counted’s aim for Youth Space is to see it become a place of empowerment and inspiration not only for the young people, but for the older generations. Send your letters, pictures, or poems to becounted.mag@gmail.com

Overprotective vs underprotective parents

Dhari Wharton is our monthly youth columnist.

Overprotective parents are always on your back 24/7 and they want to know what you’re doing all the time. They want you to ring up if you are out with friends and they get annoyed if you forget or are late ringing up. Overprotective parents won’t let you really do anything, or they don’t really like your friends, and they are just in your space a bit too much. They’re always asking… where have you been? What have you been doing? Who were you with? And it gets really annoying. But then again they are overprotective ‘cause they don’t want you to get hurt or let anything bad happen to you. They are doing that ‘cause they love you and want you to have the best education or the best job, and so they push you to get to where you want to be. Underprotective parents just don’t care

what you do with your friends and they aren’t really being as much of a parent. I remember sitting with my friends and then getting invited to a party and I asked if it was at her place and she said no it was at some other place. Then a guy butted in and asked where she was getting the alcohol from. She she said her mum was buying it for her. And that is an example of a underprotective parent. Because as if your mum or dad would buy alcohol for you if your only 15? I find it kind of weird. Parents like this are very irresponsible and anything could happen, you could actually end up getting pregnant. But in conclusion I would actually like to have an overprotective parent ‘cause they are there for me and protect me when I need it the most.

Got your own story about over or under protective parents, or just something else you want to get off your chest or share then email becounted.mag@gmail.com

Editorial: BC spotted in Alice Springs ONCE again our golden boy Preston Campbell makes the front page. But instead of being an inspiration on the field, it was off the field at the Former Origin Greats Employment Expo at the Gold Coast Convention Centre where the Gold Coast Titans skipper Scott Prince was encouraging our kids to stay at school at get a job. We welcome back Dhari Wharton who talks about over and under protective parents this edition. And of course I have to say massive congratulations to our very own columnist James Brown and his teammate Tahj Minniecon for Gold Coast United’s 2-1 victory over Perth Glory in the National Youth League Grand Final. In Be Counted news... We now have our very own facebook fan page. And I am pleased to say that the number of members have reached over

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200 fans in just a couple of short weeks. It’s really exciting to see that not just our community but people from across Australia are interested in what’s happening and what we are doing on the Gold Coast and the Tweed. I’ve been out and about in the community again this month and I have met many readers of Be Counted, and received some valuable and wonderful feedback. And while it is strictly a publication for the Gold Coast region BC has been popping up all over the country. In fact one woman told me she got her copy in Alice Springs. I was well and truly blown away. But what we need is more from you, your thoughts, your contributions and your voice. Thanks again for all the support, and until next edition... Solua

Monday April 5, 2010

SERVICES ALCOHOLIC ANONYMOUS MEN and women share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. Log onto www.aa.org.au to find your nearest meeting or call 24-hour telephone (07) 5591 2062.

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Rugby leagues’ future stars By DARREN HART KEEBRA is a traditional Aboriginal word of the Yugambeh people of the Gold Coast meaning “place of happy children,” and Keebra Park State High School nestled in Kombumerri territory in the suburb of Southport is definitely that. A school with a proud sporting and academic heritage, Keebra Park is probably the most culturally diverse school on the coast, boasting a student population of over 53 different ethnic backgrounds from an overall population of just 630. Prominent in this mix are our Indigenous students who have always been a part of our student body but who are more recently coming from both all over Queensland and interstate to enrol on what is probably the most innovative sports excellence programme in the country. Since its opening in 1973, Keebra Park has always boasted a strong tradition in rugby league but since its affiliation with the Wests Tigers in 2003 this tradition has grown to a stage where the programme is seen as a leader in its field and 2009 saw the Open boys take out he National schools Arrive Alive Cup competition. Torres Strait Islander and new Wests Tigers halfback Robert Lui, along with Broncos fullback Corey Norman are just two of a long line of graduates who have gone onto play representative football and who are an inspiration to the current crop of Indigenous athletes who hope to make a career from their passion for football. Cody Beggs originally of the Gamilaroi people of Moree, NSW, but who came to Keebra via Murgon in Queensland is one young Koori hoping to make his mark at the school. He was scouted through local representative match at Burleigh Heads and although he had never been to a city before, feels he is fitting into school well. “I’d only ever lived in country towns before so it was a bit of a culture shock coming to a big place like the Gold Coast,” Cody said. “I like the training at school even if it’s a bit harder than what I’m used to, as it will improve my fitness and overall game play.” School House Captain Myles Dagley is another Indigenous student and one who has been at Keebra Park State High School since Grade 8. The Year 12 student is both a member of the football programme and a keen art student, a mix that he finds balances his life.

MYLES DAGLEY

Myles Dagley working on his art. “I love playing footy but have been getting into my artwork recently and learning about Indigenous artists such as Gordon Bennett and I find that very interesting,” he said.

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“It’s good to relax after a hard game of football and art is a good way to do it.” Principal Cameron Hodges is a strong advocate of the diversity of both students and programmes on offer at the school and sees these as areas of difference that contribute to the overall success enjoyed at Keebra Park State High. “Keebra Park State High School is a proud, multicultural State High school and it is this diversity that makes our school a fantastic place to work, teach and learn,” Mr Hodges said. As the programme grows and more students enrol on a quest to test themselves both academically and in the sporting arena, there are sure to be more Indigenous students from all parts of Australia among the cohort and if the past is any gauge of the future there are sure to be some future NRL stars in the making.

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In the back of the net with ... James Brown

Grand Final win a real bonus

TAHJ MINNIECON (Photo: Matt King/Getty Images)

JAMES BROWN

Being part of the team that won the National Youth League Grand Final at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne last month was a great honour and a great moment for the team. Although I’m classed as a ‘senior player’ because I’m on the first team roster, the Youth Team has been very important to me this season and has provided me with a means of getting back to full fitness after my leg injury earlier in the season. It was a great occasion for everyone to play in the curtain raiser game for the Hyundai A-League Grand Final in such a fantastic stadium and to win the match

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James Brown fights for the ball. made it a very special day (Photo: Matt King/Getty Images) for everyone at the club. We were dominating the the referee blew his whistle to signal the game and had several chances to wrap end of the game and it started to sink it up, but sometimes football doesn’t go in that we were National Youth League your way and you have to dig deep to get Champions! the result you want. Getting the trophy and our medals was Perth took the lead with 15 minutes very special for everyone and a reward to go and it was a goal that came for all the hard work put in during the completely against the run of play. Many year. teams would have dropped their heads It’s not easy to win anything in football, and resigned themselves to defeat, but or any other sport, so you have to cherish we used it to spur us on. the moment when it comes along and use To achieve anything in football you have that feeling to drive you on even more the to persevere. That’s exactly what we did following year. and we equalised with eight minutes to go when Tahj Minniecon crossed for Chris Harold to head home. We were delighted to have drawn level, but kept the celebrations to a minimum because we just wanted to get on with the game and go for the winner. There was a real belief within the team that we could do what we set out to do and that kind of singleminded focus is a very powerful thing. We could sense we had another goal in us and Tahj produced the goods. It was the 90th minute when he scored the winning goal and we were absolutely James Brown and Tahj Minniecon celebrate. (Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.) ecstatic. Not long after that

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SPORT

League for Life By SOLUA MIDDLETON A YOUTH program aimed at increasing school attendance and improving the grades of Indigenous boys is targeting them through rugby league. The Nalinah Balin Project provides a structured reward system linked to current school curriculum and also monthly after school activities such as rugby league clinics, camps and gala events. Community member Alf Summers is behind the project. “The boys sign a contract stating they will keep up their attendance and behave well at school, “Mr Summers said. “They also receive information on anger management, apprenticeships and traineeships.” The program brings Indigenous boys from all over the Gold Coast. “It’s good to have Indigenous students mixing with other Indigenous kids from across the coast,”Mr Summers said. Palm Beach Currumbin, Elanora, Merrimac, Miami,

Nerang, Keebra Park and Robina are the schools currently participating in the project. But Mr Summers’ hope at expanding the project to other schools and to teenage girls is dependant on funding. Nalinah Balin is supported by some local services and organisations who provide coaches, food and refreshments. “If we had funding we could engage the guys more, he said. “We could take them away for cultural adventures, and put them through course such as first aid and construction, and engage them more culturally.” Among the main areas this project targets are: literacy and numeracy, fitness, personal development, student progress, school completion rates, behaviour management issues, employment and career strategies and more

ABOVE and BELOW: League for Life participants taking part in games and training.

For more information about League for Life visit www.leagueforlife.com

A deadly surf camp INDIGENOUS kids from all over Queensland came to learn all about the beach and surfing. In fact 92 kids aged between 10 to 17 years old took part in the Deadly Surf Sports Day at Currumbin. Students from all over south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales learned from professional instructors the art of surfing, body surfing, body boarding as well as taking part in beach event such as sprints and flags to promote confidence and understanding of the ocean. Supported by a number of key partners that include the Queensland Government and Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) the initiative was first proposed by Brett Dowker to Brian Kerle a few years ago. “The main purpose for SLSQ’s involvement obviously will be the water safety message of ‘swim between the flags’ and we

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will outline and reinforce the potential dangers of the surf while having fun in a team orientated environment,” said Mr Dowker. “Our main aim for the day is to introduce a large number of adolescent indigenous kids.” The inaugural Deadly Surf Sports Day featured a number of Indigenous speakers. They included some successful sporting celebrities including Steve Renouf and some NRL Titans, pro surfer Dale Richards, Gold Coast United players Tahj Minniecon and James Brown and local rugby league player and Surf Life Saving Boat Rowing Champion Rob Apanui. The next Deadly Surf Sports Day will be held on 15 April at Caloundra’s Dicky Beach SLSC. For more information head to call (07) 5534 7538, email office@supersurfcamps.com or visit www.supersurfcamps.com

Monday March 5, 2010

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Be Counted, Ed 3, April 6 2010  

Stories for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of the Logan, Gold Coast, Tweed and Byron Bay area.

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