Jam’s Young Achiever Award

7 June 2023|Community News| Off Comments off on Jam’s Young Achiever Award|

St Virgil’s College staff member and trawlwoolway and plangermairenner pakana scientist Jamie (Jam) Graham-Blair has won the Dental South First Nations Peoples Achievement Award in the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards.

The 28-year-old combines traditional palawa knowledge with western ecological theory
to highlight the need for palawa sovereignty, treaty and resourcing of his community.

Working as an educator and learning support officer at St Virgil’s College, Mr Graham-Blair ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have a sense of pride and empowerment within their education journey.

“I work to maintain a standard of respect, understanding and truth-telling within the school community,” he said.

“By co-organising College events like Treaty Day, where we gather as a whole school cohort to yarn about historical and contemporary treaty, I work hard to keep this important step towards true conciliation in the minds of our future leaders.”

Mr Graham-Blair’s work at St Virgil’s includes supporting classroom learning, accompanying school excursions to sites of cultural and historical significance, and leading professional learning for staff.

He has also been elected by his community to represent them on the tuylupa tunapri delegation, making him a direct agent of vocal advocation for treaty in the state of Tasmania.

“By engaging with this variety of volunteer and job roles I have offered my community an equally varied range of benefits and contributions,” he said.

“In my work as an advocate and activist I agitate and activate conversations which highlight the need for justice and reparations for my people.

“In truth telling and conducting hard anti-racism work I ensure that the colonial myths of the past are interrupted. This means that these spaces become, over time, safer for other members of my community to step into and strengthen.”

Mr Graham-Blair was one of 10 young Tasmanians recognised at last month’s Young Achievers Awards.

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