Rockhamton youths in movie

A COUPLE of Indigenous teens are driving their ute along a road, chatting and having a good time with the music up loud.

But they’re driving without a licence and they’re not wearing seatbelts.

They see a mate on the side of the road and stop to offer him a lift.

He gets in and now they’re overloading.

The speed picks up and it’s not long before they see their mate Billy and tell him to jump in the tray.

Billy yells out from the back to crank up the music and starts yahooing and dancing around.

Next minute, SMASH; blood sprays all over the windscreen.

The driver wakes up in hospital to be told “Billy’s dead” and police want to charge the driver.

Putting youth in the picture is what Adair Donaldson is trying to do.

With the help of a Brisbane film producer, this is a typical example of one of the short scenarios that make up the latest DVD called Putting Youth in the Picture, which is part of a series of three.

The first was a mainstream production based around racial abuse and volume two was about safe partying and parental responsibilities.

Over the past few years the Toowoomba-based lawyer has worked on spreading the message about poor decision making and the folly of drug and alcohol abuse to young people.

Adair launched the latest indigenous version of the resource in Woorabinda recently.

The short film has Rockhampton-based Indigenous youths acting, traditional Indigenous music, a blessing from the Elders and was set in Rockhampton.

“What we wanted to ensure was that the DVD was realistic. We wanted young Indigenous people that wanted to tell stories and were motivated to bringing about change for not only their local community but we hope to our nation,” Adair said.

“We gave them the scenarios and told them to go for it. The end result speaks for itself. The talent that they showed and their insight send a message not only to Indigenous audiences but to all. Further we were truly privileged that our initiative had the support and blessing of the Darumbal people,” he said.

The issues dealt with include assaults, racial abuse, domestic violence, motor vehicle accidents and sexual assault.

Adair said, although he didn’t know what to expect on his visit to Woorabinda, he was blown away with the positive response.

“A lot of young people simply don’t understand what the law is or how it relates to them. The young people watching the scenarios could pick up on the issues and how they could avoid them. It was incredible,” Adair said.

Adair said a recent report revealed that Indigenous people are 13 times more likely than other Australians to go to prison.

“What’s even more alarming is that more than half of young people aged 10 to 17 years in juvenile correctional institutions are Indigenous.”

He said Woorabinda elders had “tremendous drive and experience” and were doing whatever they could to bring about change. The Department of Communities was pleased to support the program by providing direct assistance to the local Indigenous actors with transportation and personal support to ensure they could fully participate. Adair said they hoped to receive government funding to roll out the program in 12 Queensland Indigenous communities.



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