HIP HOP troupe members (rear) Michael Farah and Dion Brownfield, both of Melbourne, Jason Campbell, of Mullumbimby and Matthew Presley (front), of Brisbane.
HIP HOP troupe members (rear) Michael Farah and Dion Brownfield, both of Melbourne, Jason Campbell, of Mullumbimby and Matthew Presley (front), of Brisbane. David Nielsen

Koori youth 'deadly' serious about future

MORE than 400 Aboriginal youths crowded into the grounds of Wollongbar TAFE yesterday to experience first-hand what futures might exist for them after school.

Vocations from hairdressing to woodwork and entertainment – like the popular touring Hip Hop troupe – all worked to inspire a positive future in Koori youth.

Big names like retired Rabbitoh David Peachey, his mentor Artie Beetson, singer Troy Cassar-Daley and the ABC’s New Inventors presenter Alison Page offered Koori kids proof that race was not the barrier it once was when it came to pursuing an ambitious career path.

Ms Page, who grew up in Coffs Harbour, said the first Deadly Days festival was an inspiration for young Aboriginal people.

“There are a lot of young kids coming through,” she said.

 “Figures show that 52 per cent of the Aboriginal population is under the age of 19.

“It is important that we are able to combine our traditional culture with modern interests and the modern world.

“We need to find connections between cultures, not differences.

“Our tradition is all about caring for country and respecting extended family – it’s all about being a good human being.

“If we combine this with the modern need for environmental awareness and land management we will see young Kooris becoming leaders in their field.

Ms Page said it was an exciting time for young Aboriginal people.

“This offers big responsibilities and amazing opportunities,” she said.

“How deadly is it to be a Koori today? It has been 220 years in the making.”


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