The only thing more eye-catching than the vivid colours of PCYC Napranum’s new club mural are the proud, beaming smiles of the youth leaders who helped create it.
While the artwork is the most visible sign of the success of PCYC Napranum’s Club and Culture program, it’s how participants are being moulded as emerging leaders that is being celebrated most by the community.
For the past six months, the program – which includes sport, fishing, art, storytelling and dancing – has been attracting more and more youth wanting to learn about their culture as they develop the skills needed to one day lead Napranum.
Club manager Sergeant Rhonda Spence said many children in the community were starting their day at PCYC Napranum’s breakfast club before returning to participate in program activities at the end of the school day.
“It’s where they can come, have fun and be safe when they enjoy each other’s company,” she told the Cape York Weekly.
“PCYC Napranum offers exposure, creativity and learning through the delivery of activities under our Club and Culture program.
“The kids here just want to learn about where they come from, their clans and those things, and we try to incorporate that into the programs.”
The mural will take pride of place in the new activity and cultural hub room at the club, and was a collaborative effort between the Napranum Youth Boys, Napranum Youth Girls, PCYC Napranum staff and members of the community.
Sergeant Spence praised the unified approach to creating the artwork, and acknowledged the efforts of Youth Leadership Team members Cherylyn Mene-Dick and Benson Kris, both 16.
“Cherylyn and Benson played a huge part in the design and painting of our Club mural with support by community member Marsha Hall,” Sergeant Spence explained.
Cherylyn said she believed the combination of fun activities and leadership opportunities was what made the Club and Culture program such a hit.
“I get to learn and do amazing things like painting, which is telling a story with art, and crafts,” she said.
“I also get to help our younger people have fun.”
Sergeant Spence the program’s theme for 2024 was empowering youth to give back to their peers and their community.
“We want to bring these kids up to be emerging leaders in their community, so our motto for this year is giving back,” she said.
“The sport is really good, but we are teaching them that it’s important to give back, so they’ll be going out into the community and being youth leaders for our younger kids.”
Benson praised the program and said he was excited about being recognised as a youth leader in Napranum.
“We are learning about giving back to our community, and I am looking forward to showing everyone what we can do,” he said.