Aboriginal youth Malcolm Boney is active in his local land council.
NEW SOUTH WALES: An Aboriginal youth leader is leading by example in the small community of Ashford and is hoping to revive youth interest in the land rights network.
Malcolm Boney is a regular visitor to Ashford Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) and has been a driving force behind several youth activities at the LALC.
He is a local sports champion and has ambitions to join the NRL. But it’s his passion for the Ashford LALC that has created a splash in the community.
Malcolm attends the Ashford LALC youth activities every week and is a responsible leader for the younger community.
Ashford LALC CEO Lorrayne Riggs says that Malcolm has been involved in the Debutante Ball held earlier this year, and has been involved in getting youth interested in attending the LALC.
He often takes youth under his wing to “show them the Ashford way”, Ms Riggs says.
“In towns like Ashford, there is no enterprise, there is nothing here to educate this children, and help them get to the next level. They have less of a chance to reach their full potential,” Ms Riggs says.
“There are minimal opportunities for youth to learn about culture or heritage, or for them to go to a gallery or cultural centre in Ashford.
“It’s important that we keep them on the right track because they have choices put in front of them every day.” She says Malcolm has been a good role model for other youth.
Earlier this year, he was the subject of a glowing report in the school newsletter, after he was billeted out to a local family in Wagga Wagga while on a touch football trip.
“Too often in life you only hear negative comments so I thought I would take the time to praise this lovely boy,” the family told the school.
“…He was very polite, well mannered and slotted into our family nicely…
“We also got to watch him play all of his touch games and we couldn’t praise him more for his sportsmanship and dedication to his team and his games.”
Malcolm is very focused on getting into the NRL, and is on his way, taking the Sportsperson of the Year at the local sports carnival earlier this year. But he also has a passion for the local land council.
“I check in every day and see what’s going on. I mow the lawns for them,” Malcolm says. “I’ve been helping around the community, and been involved in a lot of things”.
Ms Riggs and the local community can only praise this future leader.
“Malcolm could have been like other kids, it’s partly because of his good upbringing that he has become a good leader. I hope we can help mentor young adults like Mal.”