AIDEN Broughton and Makayla Rumler are this year’s Mr and Ms NAIDOC.
The duo were rewarded for their significant contributions to Ballarat’s indigenous community at an awards ceremony held by the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative at Town Hall on Friday afternoon.
The Mr and Ms NAIDOC accolade, established in 2015, recognises two young local Aboriginal people between 13 and 25 years of age who have made considerable achievements and contributions to the Ballarat community.
Makayla, 16, said it was a “massive” surprise to receive the award.
“I’m not really a spotlight person, so when I got it it was kind of scary. There were a lot of people looking at me,” she said.
“But, yeah, it was unexpected.”
Makayla, a proud Barkindji woman, is a natural leader and has been involved with the Korin Gamadji Institute Koorie leadership program for a number of years.
She has also played a key role in the promotion of the Blues and Brother Massive Murray paddle team, collating program photographs and compiling shots to produce a short film on the marathon.
“This year would be about my sixth year,” she said.
“It’s where we go out for five days and paddle 504 kilometres. It’s (made up of) police officers and young indigenous kids from age 12 to 18 and we all paddle down together.”
“The first two years I went with my mum and now it’s a thing that me and my brother always go to every year.”
This year’s Mr NAIDOC was awarded to Aiden Broughton, who was in Perth for the Ballarat presentation.
An outstanding role model, Aiden works with running the BADAC Auskick program and the Emergency Hamper program.
The Auskick program saw young community members play on the MCG during this year’s ‘Dreamtime at the G’ game between Essendon and Richmond in a life-changing experience.
BADAC chief executive Karen Heap reserved significant praise for both Aiden and Makayla.
“Both Makayla and Aiden are worthy winners of Mr and Miss NAIDOC 2016. They demonstrate leadership beyond their years and are great role models for other young Aboriginal people. We would also like to congratulate all the other nominees, we are very proud of you all,” she said.
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