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Say hello to our Deadly Choices Officer Joel

Joel is a proud Erub man and one of our amazing Deadly Choices Officers.

Our Deadly Choices team go into schools, community organisations, employment agencies, youth services, ATSICHS Brisbane clinics and more, running multiple programs including Good Quick Tukka, Healthy Lifestyle, Tobacco Education, DC Fit, and Junior and Senior Traditional Games.

What is your role at ATSICHS Brisbane?

  • Assisting in running our Deadly Choices fitness programs and mental health and NAIDOC events at schools and other organisations. ​​​​​​​
  • Working with other team members to design and provide rugby league specific skills and fitness sessions to targeted teenagers.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • Upskilling and coaching an Under 12s team at the Junior Murri Carnival.​​​​​​​

How long have you been at ATSICHS Brisbane?

I joined the ATSICHS Brisbane Deadly Choices team in April 2021. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What prompted you to work at ATSICHS Brisbane?

While training in Cairns, I got a call from the Head Coach of the South West Metro Pirates Basketball. He offered me a contract to play in his NBL1 team and I jumped at the opportunity. So I found myself in my red Mazda 3 on the highway to Brisbane the next day.

After I arrived in Brisbane, I unpacked and immediately began searching for an additional source of income. I looked at various jobs before I saw the role with Deadly Choices. I was keen to work in that area to make a difference. Growing up in remote communities, I saw firsthand the negative effects smoking, alcohol, and drugs had on the community.

Can you tell us a bit more about your career background?

I worked as a Student Welfare Officer with the Paramatta State School in Cairns. This role involved working with Child Safety and Act for Kids to create, revise and reform support strategies to support families, support students in all areas to improve their educational experience.

I also worked as a Support Officer with the Midnight Basketball Program in Cairns. Our goal was to reduce criminal activity in the Cairns region by creating an alternative safe and enjoyable activity for young people (predominantly Indigenous high school students and young adults) to participate in during the night.

And lastly, I worked with the Apunipima Health Organisation, travelling to various communities in the Northern Peninsula Area to support Apunipima with the delivery of their healthy lifestyle campaigns, including Don’t Make Smokes Your StorySugary Drinks Proper No Good and Drink More Water Youfla.

I’ve also had a successful basketball career on the international stage, representing the Australian Indigenous Basketball Team in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This experience helps me promote the importance of health and fitness within our Deadly Choices programs.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy playing basketball, hanging out with mates and going down to the Gold Coast to jump in the saltwater.

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

Getting my Cert IV in Fitness to lead DC Fit programs out in the community.

What would you name your boat if you had one?

Erub Kara Ged. In my language, that means, “Darnley Island, my home”. This way, no matter where I am on my boat, I’ll always feel a little bit more connected to my island home in the Torres Strait.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

I would be a Jaguar. Why? Because I’m a mountain lion and, therefore, the king of the mountain 😉 A skilled hunter, who is agile and very fast! 

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