STAYING CONNECTED: Lester Adams hopes traditional ways will continue on until his grandson, Lester Adams, is old enough to pass them down to the next generation.
STAYING CONNECTED: Lester Adams hopes traditional ways will continue on until his grandson, Lester Adams, is old enough to pass them down to the next generation.

Darumbal man fights to keep his people's culture alive

LESTER Adams was once "one of those fellas drinking on the river bank" until he heard a voice tell him to get back to his culture - and that's exactly what he did.

The Darumbal man had to find a sense of cultural identity again and to do so he knew he had to reconnect with Country.

Lester said he faced new challenges when it came to keeping his culture and traditions alive.

"I believe in practising your traditional customs and cultures all the time and today you've got to hold onto what you've got and that's why on Sunday I'm going to be making a bit of a statement about the netting issues."

Lester said there were a lot of things going wrong with netting and he had addressed the issues in the past but different groups were trying to stop the traditional practice.

Lester said he was a traditionalist and was brought up in the bush which is why he believed remaining connected to Country was of the utmost importance.

"If you lose your connection to Country, you lose your identity and you become a vagrant inside," he said.

"I grew up in the bush… in my early years I lived on Stradbroke Island, they are very cultured down there with their hunting of dugongs, turtles, fish and pipis."

Lester said for him being connected to Country was the foundation on which he formed his identity.

"At a young age my family moved to The Caves… when you live out at those places you can't come into town all the time so you would go out and get turkeys, fresh water turtles and kangaroos and all that.

"So when the wet seasons would come, the proper wet seasons back in the day, you'd be stuck out in the bush for weeks so that's when you went out and did hunting on foot."

Lester said he believed kids and youths were losing their cultural identity in modern Australia.

"You know the things they watch in the movies and you see them getting around with their caps on sideways," he said.

"They call one another nigger now, you don't do that because we older fellas get offended by that, and we were called niggers by white fellas when we were growing up.

"If there's any message I could get out to people it would be to remain connected to Country and cultural identity."



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