Empowering indigenous youth


Edward is a Silver Award holder and youth motivator with the Nintiringanyi ("willing to learn") Cultural Training Centre's Indigenous Youth Empowerment Programme. He came to London with his young cousin, Kerrilee, to talk to us about the difficulties faced by young indigenous Australians, and how the Award can help.

The Award has changed my life by showing me that being indigenous is not a handicap. It showed me that I could be an indigenous man and be successful at the same time. I have gone on to successfully overcome the barriers I had in my life since my involvement in the Award. I have become very successful both in my work at the Department of Human Services and my role in the community as an Indigenous Leader.

Society often views young people as insignificant, having very little of worth to offer. This is magnified even more when it comes to being an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young person. In Cairns, indigenous young people are at times seen in a bad light due to the negative daily reports of crime in the media involving indigenous youth. The statistics that Kerrilee mentioned reflect the indigenous youth we work with through the Award, however it has been wonderful to witness the positive impacts my cousin Kerrilee and I have had on their lives.

Edward Lampton, Award LeaderPositive achievements

I have seen a 16-year-old Aboriginal youth who had been expelled from every school in Cairns and previously been in detention for stealing cars go on to complete an apprenticeship in an abattoir as a slaughter man. I've seen another young Aboriginal man, also expelled from school and in trouble with the law, complete a Technical and Further Education qualification in Performing Arts (similar to an NVQ in the UK) and a young Aboriginal girl overcome chronic shyness to become all that she can be. The stories are endless!

The right environment to grow

Within every human being is a small seed of success and by supporting and donating money to the Award you are giving the opportunity for there to be an environment for the seed of success to grow and mature on its own. When you plant a seed it already knows what to do. You do not need to pray that it will grow or throw chemicals on it to force it to grow if the seed is placed in the right environment then it is within the seed to know what to do and how to grow. We are success stories and you could become a part of seeing transformation in the lives of other indigenous young people.

to enable more young indigenous Australians, and young people of other ethnic minorities, to benefit from the Award.