International Women’s Day 2023 – Norma & Helena
Making a difference together
“My first contact with PCYC Queensland was in 2009 when I took my 4 and 5 year-old sons to Judo classes. Little did I know of the journey I would take just over 10 years later in both distance and life enriching experiences when beginning work at PCYC Queensland.
I started at PCYC Queensland in 2020 as a Sports and Recreation Officer in Coen, Far North Queensland. In 2021, I took on a similar role at PCYC Aurukun when my police officer husband also began work at the club.
In 2022, my husband and I began work at PCYC Napranum, where I went on to join the Youth Support Services team. From February to May 2022, I split my time between the Aurukun and Napranum clubs. It was a great experience to have a foot in two very different communities.
In May 2022 my husband became the Aurukun Club Manager and we made the permanent move to Aurukun. We have done so many awesome things in the short time we have been there. Highlights have been our first Youth Week Club and Cultural Sports Exchange with Napranum and Mapoon, first Aurukun NAIDOC Ball, Wik Language Week, first Blue Edge Program and our 24-hour Walkathon Fundraiser for one of our young people who went to Greece to run a marathon for the Indigenous Marathon Foundation.
I work for PCYC as it gives me the opportunity to help and encourage young people. I am from a big family being the eldest of six. My family, my husband and my children are my ‘Why’! I’ve been married to my amazing husband for 20 years and am a proud mum to Isaiah 19, Moses 18 and Helena 15.
Isaiah and Moses currently live in New Zealand pursuing their rugby dreams and make me so proud. Helena lives with us in Aurukun and inspires me every day to give all I can to give the youth in Aurukun every opportunity to find their own pathways and excel.
Helena volunteers at the club and has dedicated much of the last 24 months supporting and being an emerging leader for the young people of Aurukun. She is currently completing her Silver Duke of Edinburgh award and is encouraging others in the community to start their journey.
She has learnt the Wik language and speaks with the young people and the elders of the community which closes the gap with language barriers that we may have at the club. Helena has been embraced by the local Wik people and has been adopted into many families in Aurukun. She recently completed the State Youth Leadership Program 1.”
Youth Support Worker
Big/little sister to all
Helena is currently studying Year 10 through the Cairns School of Distance Education. When not studying, she volunteers up to four hours a day and during school holiday eight hours a day supporting our Club and Culture afternoon sessions and School Holiday Program. She had this to say about her experiences:
“I volunteer at PCYC Aurukun because I know our work is effective and the club is a safe space for a lot of the kids. I help out wherever I’m needed and am a big/little sister to all the kids at PCYC.
I enjoy helping the kids by just being a positive role model in their lives, making memories, and showing them amazing experiences and opportunities outside of Aurukun; and every day that’s what we do.
I’m super proud to have been part of ‘Wik Language Week’. This event was created by my parents to celebrate and acknowledge Wik Mungkan, the only living indigenous language in Queensland. This means so much to me because I was raised in Australia and grew up away from my own cultures, so I never fully learnt my culture or languages; but in Aurukun I speak Wik Mungkan and learn new things about their culture every day.”
Volunteer and youth leader