Jarred is fired up with love for his community

THE enthusiasm on Jarred Roberts' face was plain to see after he had won a Young Leader NAIDOC Week award in Ballina yesterday.

The 15-year-old Ballina youth knew hard work and dedication to his community had paid off - but while he was happy to receive the award, he was more excited about what the future held for him.

“I help with the kids at Ballina Public School and made a speech at the NAIDOC Week parade about what it means to me,” Jarred said.

“And I'm involved in sport. I referee touch footy and play in the Aboriginal rugby union team.

“But when I leave school I want to be a chef, or work in the indigenous community as a teacher ... I want to be a community leader and help people wherever I can.”

Jarred was impressed with the achievements of other local indigenous youths, who were awarded for their work at the NAIDOC Week Kids Awards ceremony, which was staged at the Ballina RSL Club by the Bullinah Goori Services Action Group and Kids and Youth Excel.

He said it made him proud to be an indigenous youth in Ballina.

“A lot of people don't know how much a lot of the kids do,” Jarred said.

“The awards show what all the young kids achieve in the community, and it's important that everyone knows so they can support them.

“NAIDOC Week lets the whole community come together. This year it was especially important to me, and my great grandmother, because the Federal Government said 'sorry'.”

A NAIDOC Week awards presentation for adults who had made outstanding contributions to the community was held at Ballina last night.

A national awards ceremony will be also held in Canberra tomorrow. Go to www.naidoc.org.au for information.

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