School holiday fun in Lockhart River!

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The Apunipima, Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Team visited Lockhart River during the school holidays to help out with some fun activities for the community’s children and youth!

The TIS Team in partnership with the Lockhart River Youth Group and Puuya Foundation hosted a film launch last week showcasing the Lockhart River leg of the, ‘What’s Your Story Cape York? Don’t Make Smokes Your Story’ campaign. The videos involved community members from Lockhart River sharing their stories about why it’s important to choose not to smoke and the benefits of making healthy choices. The team also helped coordinate a community Colour Fun Day in the afternoon before the video launch event that evening.

The community Colour Fun Day started at 3pm with the community bus and parents dropping off several loads of eager participants. It was all hands on deck for the TIS team, Youth Group and Puuya staff as the children (and adults) lined up to collect a white shirt in readiness for the fun run – though they wouldn’t stay white for long! A pair of sunnies and the ever-popular Apunipima bucket hat was also given out.

Before the run started Bonnie and Fiona from the TIS team hosted a discussion about the importance of Tackling Indigenous Smoking and engaged the youth with some of the props including the unhealthy and healthy lungs, a year’s worth of tar in a jar and the gangrenous foot.

After the discussion, it was time to get colourful! Adults with the colouring powder all headed to their allocated stations and sprayed colour powder at the youth as they ran around the footy field.

Emma Schuh, Director Kuunchi Kakana (KK)/Puuya Centre, said the run was the best event of the school holidays.

“It was the most I’ve seen the kids interact in the whole two weeks of the school holidays, and the children had a ball,” she said.

Following the run, there was a short break before community members headed up to the community hall for the film launch. Dinner, fruit and water were supplied.

With bellies full and the sun setting, the team began screening the five films, and each was enthusiastically applauded by the crowd. The videos were followed by another quick round of talks including TIS staff and community members thanking each other for all the hard work which went into the day and the entire project overall.

The final act of the day was a cultural dance from the community children and youth, performed in the headlights of the community bus. Local cultural leaders Patrick and Simon Butcher guided the performance and provided the beat with their percussion instruments.

Apunipima Board Member and Health Action Team Chair, Ethel Singleton was very happy with how the day unfolded. According to Ethel, the whole day was a big hit with the community.

“I think it was very positive and fun for the kids. It was great to have a meal while we shared the videos. They all enjoyed themselves and I think it was totally different to what they expected,” she said.

Emma, Director KK/Puuya Centre agreed and said that this event reiterated that all stakeholders in Lockhart River – community-based or otherwise – are here to help the community.

“Yesterday was a great partnership between Apunipima and the Lockhart Shire Council in running the school holiday program. To see that many children in their white shirts, and to see community members helping with the spray bottles, and to still have them engaged for the evening, that was a great success,” she said.

Once again a big thank you and acknowledgment to Apunipima TIS team, Youth Group Co-ordinator, Krystal and team and the Puuya Foundation Team for supporting this community event!

Keep your eyes peeled for the Lockhart River “What’s Your Story Cape York?” local champion films being shared soon on Apunipima’s facebook and YouTube channels.

Cape York, Don’t Make Smokes Your Story!

To learn more about Tackling Indigenous Smoking, talk to your local Apunipima staff or click on this page.