top of page

Vaccination a symbol of leadership and respect

Adam Elliott, Uncle Col Watego and Ricky Young from the ‘Warrior Spirit Protecting Community’ program presenting a bicycle to Senia Ryan. Senia attends St Ignatius school and is pictured with her grandmother Kelly, and Buddy Moore of Bourke PCYC. Photo contributed

Uncle Col Watego of the TRYP program is a familiar face in Bourke, and he was in town last week as part of a special mission to increase Covid vaccination rates among young people.

His program is called ‘Warrior Spirit Protecting Community’ and the program is now operating in many western NSW towns – including Bourke, Brewarrina, Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Goodooga, Nyngan, Cobar, and Wilcannia.

The ‘Warrior Spirit’ message to the students at the Bourke High and Public Schools was not just vaccinating to protect themselves against the ongoing threat of Covid, but to show respect and care for the community, especially the elders, by making them safer from infection.

As part of the program, Uncle Col was also in Bourke to announce the winners of his Mega Bike draw, and is also running Mega Bike Draws throughout the western region.

As an added incentive to young people to get their Covid vaccinations, two top of the line bikes were donated to the Bourke PCYC and the Bourke Aboriginal Corporation Health Service. On Tuesday, the winners were announced, with Senia Ryan from St Ignatius Parish School and Liam Edwards from Bourke High School the lucky winners.

The mega bike draw, as part of the ‘Warrior Spirit Protecting Community’ program, will also run in Goodooga, Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Wilcannia, Coonamble, and Nyngan over coming weeks.

Uncle Col said the broader message was more than just giving away bikes.

He is on a mission to build leadership among the young people of Bourke, Walgett, and Lightning Ridge, to realise their role in protecting their community through their own actions and by doing so, protecting their families and especially their elders.

His belief in the value of developing leadership skills in young people has been a lifelong mission. Uncle Col spent decades in the Australian Defence Force, developed the model for indigenous recruitment and in retirement has devoted himself to a program based on the skills he acquired in the ADF. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

To subscribe call (02) 6872 2333 today and receive The Western Herald in your letterbox next week!


bottom of page