Lowood students learn deadly skills

Back row (L-R): Austin Gray, Anthony Purvis, Christopher Walker (Sonny), Joshua Weribone, Marni Vaughan, Brigalow Kaye, Matt North and Dani Campbell. Front row (L-R): Dean Canning, Jyrah Beckett-Piper, Tryone Canning, Jaylan Beckett-Piper, Memphis Ogilvie, Sage McBeath, Hayden Lang and Rosemary Ward. Pictures: JACOB HAYDEN

First Nations’ students proudly demonstrated their skills creating and riding skateboards at the Lowood State High School Songlines Skateboarding presentation on Monday 18 March at Lowood Skate Park.

The program connected ten boys with skateboarding experts and a First Nation artist, allowing them to strengthen their own identities.

Lowood SHS deputy principal Sherree Soanes endorsed the program at the presentation.

“I am proud to say that Lowood State High School is the pilot school for the Songlines Skateboarding Program,” Soanes said.

“The Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport, the Somerset Council and our community education counsellor, Rosemary Ward have been the key players in making this program happen at our school.”

Ms Ward, who is also a Beyond the Broncos Girls Academy student support officer, said the program was about getting the boys’ bodies ‘moving and flowing’.

“Doing any sort of activity improves your brain health, helps to manage weight and reduce the risk of diseases just to name a few advantages of being active,” Ms Ward said.

“The Songlines Skateboarding program gave our First Nations students the opportunity to assemble a skateboard from scratch, learn how to maintain the skateboard and learn techniques on how to skateboard.

“The boys have learnt that skateboarding is a cheap mode of transport, it provides an opportunity to make new friends and to also make use of skate parks in their community.

“Our First Nations’ boys also had the opportunity to meet an Indigenous artist, Steve Bekue, who spoke to the boys about the importance of learning about their own identity and storytelling using paint and brushes.”

The Queensland Government provided $9520 to Somerset Regional Council to support the program.

Ward encouraged all state schools to apply for funding to provide communities for their First Nations students.