Amber Brown
Amber Brown

Creative Gympie student wins Queensland NAIDOC award

COOLOOLA Christian College Year 6 student Amber Brown-Gempton was yesterday awarded the NAIDOC Medal of Excellence Award for her NAIDOC poem on reconciliation. The prestigious award is one of only 30 handed out across the state, as part of the NAIDOC Week Colouring-in/Poem Writing Competition.

The competition was part of the broader 2019 NAIDOC Week School Initiative Competitions, which encouraged both primary and secondary students, from across all communities, to enter short stories, creative writing, essay writing and colouring-in.

Entries were judged by a panel including Aboriginal elders, agency delegates and other members of the community.

The aim of these initiatives is to provide children with a greater understanding of the importance of friendship and cultural diversity and were based on this year’s national NAIDOC theme.

Amber Brown and Mick Curran
Amber Brown and Mick Curran

CCC principal Trevor Norman said the college had developed a strong ongoing partnership with the Cherbourg community which provided students with opportunities to collaborate and increase their awareness of cultural issues.

“It is important that our students understand, reflect and celebrate the history and culture of our country,” said Mr Norman.

“We are incredibly grateful to Cherbourg Elder Uncle Eric Law who spent time working with all our Year 6 students, reviewing their NAIDOC Week competition submissions and providing feedback for their work.

“The college is extremely proud of Amber’s efforts. Her poem reflects an understanding of friendship, and recognises our country’s cultural diversity.”

NAIDOC week celebrations are held in July each year and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The theme for 2019 was ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future.’

The following is Amber’s poem:


Recognised/ I think the Indigenous people should have been more recognised back then like to have a say in things.

Equality/ The Indigenous should have had equal things when they came back from war.

Compassion/ Now the government has compassion and wants to help the Indigenous.

Opinion/ I think the government should have let Indigenous people have an opinion on what to do too.

New/ As non-Indigenous I want a new start to become friends with Indigenous.

Communication/ The government should have communicated better with the Indigenous.

Included/ In the past we should have included the Indigenous people to decide things to.

Love/ Love one another and don’t judge people for how they look and by the colours of their skin.

Intelligent/ We should have been more intelligent and not take the land indigenous people owned.

Aboriginal and Australian/ Australians should have respected Aboriginal people and not take their land.

Together/ Together we can unite and become friends.

Indigenous/ Indigenous people are now blessed with homes, schools, education and lots more.

Opportunity/ We should have given the indigenous a opportunity or vote to see if we could take their land.

Non-Indigenous/ Now indigenous and non-indigenous are friends and indigenous people have forgiven non-indigenous people.

By Amber Brown

Gympie Times

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