Metui is feted as a young achiever

Metui Tongatua has won the Glencore McArthur River Mining Regional and Rural Initiative Award.

The prize is one of 13 honours conferred at this year’s Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards, which acknowledge, encourage, and promote the positive achievements of young Territorians up to and including 29 years of age.

Metui is a Nhulunbuy-based facilitator and senior teacher in the Indigenous Education and Operations Dhupuma Foundational Learning Project.

“I am the facilitator and senior educator in this Yolngu-led program that relies upon community input and governance about what students’ learning outcomes should be,” he said. “Ideally, students will always walk away from the program, culturally empowered, into either mainstream schooling or employment.

“Working and living with Yolngu people is very appealing. My family and I will forever be grateful that the Yolngu people invited us into their homes and ceremonies, and shared their food and stories.

“Through the Dhupuma Foundational Learning Project—partnered with the Yothu Yindi Foundation and the community of Gunyangara—I plan on using my skills to work with the disenfranchised students of the area, find their strengths, and be the vehicle that drives them to greater achievements.

“And I use my cultural competencies to ensure the children remain strong in their cultural ways.”

The 29-year-old avid sportsman has secured over $300,000 to support the participation of remote Indigenous students in sporting events, and last year helped 35 students qualify to enter state championships in soccer, football, basketball and athletics, and five students to compete in national championships in athletics and football.

The multi-skilled athlete is a gold, silver and bronze medallist, dedicated to bringing sport and recreation providers into isolated communities.

“I am committed to giving remote community members similar sporting experiences to those enjoyed by their urban counterparts,” he said.

“Sport and recreation providers help build the coaching and sport officiating skills in these societies.”

The father of three children is a dual degree holder and is now working on the Graduate Diploma of Psychology. Metui’s wife Grace, also a senior teacher, is about to be admitted as a lawyer after completing her law degree with First Class Honours.

Metui and Grace

Last updated: 18 April 2019