Cormach Evans: Westfield Local Heroes 2018
Cormach bounces back from self-harm to pay it forward
The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled Strong Brother, Strong Sister to take a group of Aboriginal young people on a 10 day leadership camp in the Northern Territory.
Travelling through Darwin, Litchfield National Park and Kakadu National Park the group learnt about culture from those areas, met with traditional elders and young people and developed further leadership skills.
Six Aboriginal young people participated in the leadership camp, enhancing their leadership and mentoring skills, and gaining a further sense of identity from the experience.
As the only Aboriginal kid in his school, Cormach Evans faced the tyranny of racism every day.
The impact was so great he almost lost his life to drugs, alcohol and self-harm.
Thankfully, he had strong role models and they helped him change his life for the better.
Now Cormach is paying it forward, founding Strong Brother Strong Sister to help build self-esteem among Aboriginal youth.
“I want to give all young Aboriginal people a positive mentor, role model and leader in their own life to help them achieve their greatest dreams. And now we are doing that,” Cormach says.
Strong Brother Strong Sister aims to keep Aboriginal kids in school or work by instilling pride in their culture while connecting them with the local community.
The program does this through various weekly activities, including group workshops and an art program with AFL football club the Geelong Cats.
In just 12 months Strong Brother Strong Sister has engaged with over 500 Aboriginal people aged 4 to 25 years.
Twenty homeless young people have received help while another 20 in out-of-home-care have returned to their families.
Cormach says the program also addresses the fact that Aboriginal youth are born 10 steps behind due to racism, land loss and the Stolen Generation.
“We are giving Aboriginal young people the bridge to step well over that gap to achieve excellence.
“That’s what inspires me every day. That’s what keeps me going.”
Cormach says it is a privilege to be voted a Westfield Local Hero.
He says he has been overwhelmed by support from the Wadawurrung and wider communities.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.
If you or anyone you know would like more information on what support is available:
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