Six Tasmanians selected for National Youth Indigenous Parliament Tue 8 May 2012 Cassy O'Connor Minister for Aboriginal Affairs The Minister for Community Development, Cassy O'Connor, today congratulated six young Tasmanian Aboriginal people who have been selected to attend the inaugural National Youth Indigenous Parliament. Ms O'Connor said Rebekah Shurley, of Ulverstone; Marley Clark of Flinders Island; Teangi Brown of Hobart; Emarra Gower of Launceston; Jordan Clark of Bridgewater and Alice Wise of Launceston were among the fifty indigenous leaders of the future who would debate issues affecting their communities and their country at the event in Canberra later this month. "Participants were chosen because of their involvement in the community, their interest in the Parliamentary system and their leadership skills," Ms O'Connor said. "I am confident that Rebekah, Marley, Teangi, Emarra, Jordan and Alice will do a fantastic job representing the Tasmanian Aboriginal community at this event." Ms O'Connor said the inaugural National Youth Indigenous Parliament was a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Indigenous people's right to vote. "This is a tremendous opportunity for young Aboriginal people to have a strong and vocal contribution to the future of our nation," she said. "One of the benefits of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament is aimed at closing the gap with electoral participation in the Indigenous community." "I would like to personally congratulate Rebekah Shurley, Marley Clark, Teangi Brown, Emarra Gower, Jordan Clark, and Alice Wise," she said. The event to be held in Canberra runs from 23-29 May 2012. The Tasmanian delegation will be debating a Bill to make cultural awareness compulsory in the curriculum. (more detail of each of the participants included below) Rebekah SHURLEY - Ulverstone - 21 years Rebekah Shurley, of Ulverstone, in the north-west of Tasmania has had strong community involvement since being elected school captain, participating in Tasmania's Model United Nations Assembly and as a finalist in Rotary's Youth of the Year. She continues to work in the community as a volunteer with her local church group and as member of the Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation. She is aware of the ever changing environment of community life and wishes to develop her skills to make her voice stronger to make a difference, to bring awareness to Indigenous culture and to teach these skills to other young Indigenous people. Rebekah has public speaking skills which she would like to pass to others so they can make a difference and be heard. Marley CLARK - Flinders Island - 17 years Marley Clark, of Flinders Island, is an active participant in her community. She is a determined person who has a passion for Indigenous affairs and wants to promote ideas and issues facing Indigenous people. Marley is a great role model and is prepared to do that little extra when difficulties arise. She has a good civic and constitutional knowledge having recently attended a constitutional recognition forum to promote constitutional change and presented to the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Teangi BROWN - Hobart - 17 years Teangi Brown, of Hobart, is a young independent man who values being a positive role model and is active in his community. Teangi has done Welcome to Country ceremony at events and participated in a film project to promote Indigenous culture with the Tasmanian Elders Council in Launceston. He has also made a dance documentary highlighting the French/Indigenous history in Tasmania. His diversity of interests includes being part of a philosophy group, bushwalking and scuba diving. Teangi is motivated, respectful, has a desire to learn through participation and aware that change is possible and sometimes necessary. Emarra GOWER - Launceston - 15 years Emarra Gower, of Launceston, has shown leadership, commitment, determination and a willingness to learn in applying herself to making a difference in her life and those around her. She participates in many community events, rallies and youth programs. She is a mentor for other young Indigenous members of her community and is able to work with the Elders of her community recognising their strengths and knowledge. Emarra is a young person who has awareness and understanding about issues and her community and is about making a difference not only for herself but also for others. Jordan CLARK - Bridgewater - 15 years Jordan Clark, of Bridgewater, is a young person motivated and actively involved in making a difference in her community. A school student, she is able to communicate effectively and recognises issues that are important in her community. Jordan is willing to share her skills and encourage others to be more involved to make a better place for all. Alice WISE - Launceston - 17 years Alice Wise, of Launceston, is a motivated person who has had to leave her home on Flinders Island where she is a junior member of the Flinders Island Aboriginal Association to study Indigenous art at Launceston College. She recognises education as a way for furthering Indigenous issues in her community and the broader Australian community. Alice is committed to keeping Indigenous knowledge alive through her own learning and understanding.