23 May 2024

Lockhart River gets set to glam up for maiden NAIDOC ball

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Two Puuya Foundation staff with formalwear laid out on table

The Puuya Foundation is gathering formalwear to allow Lockhart River to host its inaugural NAIDOC ball in July. Photo: supplied.

Glamorous gowns and swanky suits are arriving in Lockhart River for the community’s first NAIDOC ball.

The Puuya Foundation, which aims to develop everyday leaders and empower the local community, has organised a youth-focused ball to celebrate the efforts of people aged 12-25 in the eastern Cape York community.

Donations of formalwear, make-up and hair accessories have already begun to arrive in the mail in preparation for the July event.

Puuya Foundation chief executive officer Emma Schuh said the youth focus of the ball aligned with this year’s NAIDOC theme of Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.

“This is our next generation of leaders that is going to continue this fight,” she said.

“The result of the referendum was quite disheartening and we as adults felt that we didn’t want the taste of defeat with our next generation, we wanted to keep the fire burning.”

Donations are still needed to help make the gala event a success for all attendees.

READ ALSO Charity founder impressed by PCYC Aurukun’s NAIDOC Ball

“We’re having some difficulties with our grades 7-10 cohorts, because a lot of formal dresses are used for year 12 formal,” Ms Schuh said.

“We’re also going to have a fireworks display, which is going to be the first fireworks display in Lockhart River, so if anyone out there would like to support that, that would be fantastic.”

They are also looking for a red carpet for the youth to get the five-star entrance they deserve.

“We’ve put on our Facebook page to encourage the kids to start thinking of what transport they’ll be coming in, so there’s a lot of chatter that they’re going to use their auntie’s car or their uncle’s car, and they’re going to do it up,” Ms Schuh said.

“We’ve even had kids saying they want to come on a horse.”

The ball will be open to youth who have over 40 per cent attendance at school, are enrolled in boarding school, or are studying and earning.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a reward, but it’s showing these children that we recognise their efforts and we see their hard work,” the Puuya Foundation CEO said.

“With one of the criteria being school attendance, we think it’s a great initiative for those children that for whatever reason, aren’t at that stage.

“We’ve got a couple of kids that are just under that 40 per cent, and they’re working really hard to go to school every day, so that they can come to the ball.”

To support the ball, call 4021 2610 or email [email protected].

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