Dhinawan accepts his Encouragement Award at the ceremony.
Dhinawan accepts his Encouragement Award at the ceremony.

Dhinawan's special award

Brunswick Heads-based indigenous speaker and educator Dhinawan was recently recognised at the Premier’s 2010 Awards for Excellence in Leadership in Aboriginal Communities.


His business, Dhinawan Dreaming, received an Encouragement Award for ‘Education, Learning and Knowledge’ from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Paul Lynch.


Dhinawan delivers a range of cultural awareness and educational programs to local schools, including a very successful anti-bullying program and his Corroboree program – the Deadly Dancers.


Vanessa Thompson, a teacher at Goonellabah Public School, nominated Dhinawan for the award, following the successful delivery of one of Dhinawan’s programs, designed to foster greater ‘respect’ at the school.


“Dhinawan leads by example. He showed the students the respectful way to interact with other people in their lives – aunts, uncles, nans, pops, siblings, teachers and each other,” Ms Thompson said.


“He expressed the importance of cultural pride and ensured that the students knew that they are the leaders of the future. He did all of this through story-telling, dance and art.”


At the end of the program, Dhinawan and the students performed for the whole school community.


“The children’s and their families’ sense of pride was phenomenal,” Ms Thompson said.


Dhinawan also invited the Year 5 and 6 students to dance with him at the opening of the QuikSilver Pro earlier this year. They performed for the Bundjalung Elder’s Council, Goonellabah Pre-School and Lismore Public School.


“Our boys are shining, thanks to Dhinawan, and as a result I decided to nominate him for this award,” Ms Thompson said.


“Our school is thrilled that his fantastic work has been recognised through this encouragement award.”


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