Taipans Indigenous Program reaches more than 1,000 kids

[by Gavin Broomhead]

Sea Swift Taipans Indigenous Program session delivered in Kowanyama. Image: Nate Jawai

The popular Sea Swift Taipans Indigenous Program has completed another successful run of visits across Far North Queensland, delivering sessions to more than 1,000 schoolchildren in 13 locations during the past 12 months.

 

Headed by Taipans Indigenous Programs Manager and former NBL star Kerry Williams, the program aims to spread healthy living messages throughout Cape York Peninsula and Torres Strait Island remote communities.

 

Since March 2019, the Sea Swift Taipans Indigenous Program has:

  • delivered sessions to 1,022 Indigenous schoolchildren in Cape York, Torres Strait and Cairns

  • spent 81 hours delivering the sessions.

 

CQUniversity Cairns Taipans centre Nate Jawai made some of the visits extra special for the children as part of the regular program across the region, which encourages kids to stay in school, keep active, and eat healthily.

 

In 2009, Jawai became the first Torres Strait Islander to play in the world-famous National Basketball Association (NBA), and played a key role in the Taipans’ highly-successful 2019-20 NBL season.

 

Williams said the students are always excited to meet the local basketball legend, who grew up in Bamaga.

 

“Nathan is able to tell his story and address our key message of respect through story,” said Williams.

 

“Nathan speakes at assemblies about his journey, and then plays games, hands out T-shirts, and reiterates his respect message – there’s always a lot of excitement from the students.”

 

Since its inception, the award-winning Sea Swift Taipans Indigenous Program has engaged more than 4,000 Indigenous youth in 24 communities.

 

In the past 12 months, the program has visited Warraber Island, Thursday Island, Murray Island, Mornington Island, Northern Peninsula Area, Kowanyama, Hope Vale, Cooktown, Wujal Wujal, and Cairns West State School, Parramatta State School, Manoora, and Mooroobool in Cairns.

 

Sea Swift Chief Executive Officer Fred White said Sea Swift had a proud record of supporting local communities, and was thrilled to support a national sporting organisation such as the Cairns Taipans.

 

“Sea Swift has been proudly servicing remote communities in northern Australia for decades, and we always play an active role in the communities where we operate," Mr White said.

 

“The Taipans are more than just a national sports team. They’re dedicated to utilising their organisation as a vehicle for social change, and we’re proud to be involved.”

 

Sea Swift has more than 30 years of experience providing essential services and project freight in Northern Australia with more than 460 staff and 27 vessels servicing 53 communities, and makes a significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the region.

 

Sea Swift operates throughout the region’s remote coastal and island communities, with depots in Cairns, Weipa, Seisia, Horn Island, Badu Island and Thursday Island in Queensland, and Darwin, Gove and Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory.

LATEST NEWS

Truth telling: The stories of Australia's stolen generation

[Ali MC, Aljazeera]

New books reveal the traumatic experiences of Indigenous children taken from their homes in official Australian policy.

Aboriginal people who work for the dole to attend group activities despite coronavirus risk

[Lorena Allam, The Guardian]

Aboriginal people who work for the dole will have to show up for group activities as usual, despite the government telling service providers that there is a “high likelihood that larger scale community outbreaks [of Covid-19] will occur in the near future”.

Mutual obligations for all people receiving income support must be immediately suspended

[by Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie]

People are already struggling to get by, they don’t need the added stress of having a payment suspended because they don’t think they should be attending an appointment or a work for the dole site.