A rainbow created a culturally magic moment during a surf Indigenous wellness program at Noosa River Mouth.
A rainbow created a culturally magic moment during a surf Indigenous wellness program at Noosa River Mouth.

Surf’s up as Rainbow Serpent drops in on Noosa kids

Coast school kids mixing surf and Indigenous culture into their lessons saw a sign from above when a Rainbow Serpent dropped in on them.

A group of 30 Tewantin State School children gathered at the Noosa River mouth on Thursday as part of a seven-week wellness course blending local Indigenous and surfing cultures.

The appearance of the rainbow bridging the Noosa River, the traditional country of the Kabi Kabi people, signified the giant Dreamtime serpent moving from waterhole to waterhole.

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The significance of the moment was not lost on Surfdancer Academy of Surf head coach Kristy Quirk as she stood beside Indigenous custodian Lyndon Davis.

Kristy Quirk of the Surf Dancer Academy with one of the Tewantin State School students.
Kristy Quirk of the Surf Dancer Academy with one of the Tewantin State School students.

"There was so much good vibes, the magic had appeared - they absolutely loved it," Ms Quirk said.

It appeared at the start of their first Dingira Warrai, or "sea dance" in Kabi Kabi language.

The event was staged with the support of Youturn Youth Support and Kabi Kabi Dancers to help build skills to help them not only survive but thrive during their life challenges ahead.

Lyndon Davis imparts a wealth of Indigenous knowledge.
Lyndon Davis imparts a wealth of Indigenous knowledge.

"All the parents, all the teachers, all the children and all the surf coaches were on such a high, because it was just so special with Lyndon, the learning and being under the rainbow," Ms Quirk said.

Ms Quirk said Lyndon's cultural immersion fitted perfectly with surf dancing.

"There's so much knowledge there that we've lost, so we get to really listen and learn about the land, about the bush tucker, the stories," she said.

The start of culturally aware surfing program in Noosa.
The start of culturally aware surfing program in Noosa.

Youturn's Susan Beaton said Dingira Warrai highlighted the strength in traditional ways of doing things.

"These perspectives are key to the oldest surviving culture on Earth and became the inspiration … our partners Gubbi Gubbi Dance and Surfdancer Academy of Surf were the perfect collaboration to deliver our program vision," Ms Beaton said.

Tewantin deputy principal Rick Cass said the children, who identified as either Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, were thrilled to be given a fun learning opportunity using the perfect outdoor setting.

The program aims to embed traditional knowledge and skills to tackle adversity or issues such as feeling anxious, down or under pressure.

To learn more about the program contact Youturn Youth Support on 5442 4277.


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