LOOKING TO FUTURE: Delphine Charles (second left) with daughter Morgan Charles (second right) and grandchildren (from left) Dakota, 3, and Jordan Klein, 2, and Nyah Charles, 5, celebrating NAIDOC Week in Warwick.
LOOKING TO FUTURE: Delphine Charles (second left) with daughter Morgan Charles (second right) and grandchildren (from left) Dakota, 3, and Jordan Klein, 2, and Nyah Charles, 5, celebrating NAIDOC Week in Warwick. Elyse Wurm

'I want young people to be proud and to keep stories alive'

AT JUST five years of age, Delphine Charles' granddaughter Nyah proudly stands up in front of her peers and announces her family is part of the Githabul people in Warwick.

This confidence is what MsCharles hopes all young Githabul people can find within themselves and she is offering a guiding hand when that confidence threatens to falter.

Ms Charles is already considered to be an elder by many, but the Warwick woman believes she still has a way to go before assuming the title.

Ms Charles said elders continued to play a vital role in the community, preserving stories and history that would otherwise be wiped out.

"To put a sense of pride into the kids because the kids that are a bit in trouble, it's because they don't have that self pride,” she said.

"It needs to be taught before school and I want all young people to be proud of who they are and to keep those stories alive.”

Ms Charles said she shared stories and sang songs with her grandchildren to maintain a connection to language.

"It's not a written language, if it was written it would be there all the time but it's not, so it will be lost,” she said.

"It's like any history, it has to be passed on.”

The mother of three and grandmother to seven, Ms Charles attends RUOK? events, is part of the Waringh Waringh committee and the Travelling Country Music Club.

She said getting out and about at events encouraged others to get involved.

"To teach them they don't have to be ashamed, if they enjoy doing something, do it,” she said.

Celebrating the theme of Because of Her, We Can this NAIDOC Week, Ms Charles said women were the nurturers in indigenous culture and looked after the family.

"We not only take on that role with our own families,” she said.

"They may be strangers when you first meet them but not for long.”



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