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Tjapukai experience spurs performer to guide youth

May 31, 2014 Attraction No Comments Email Email

When Warren Clements first stepped on to the stage as a performer for Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park 23 years ago he had no idea of the globe-trotting career  he was about to embark on.

Tjapukai Warren 665kb 300dpi“In my first month I found myself in Alice Springs saying hello to Olympic Games Gold Medallist Cathy Freeman and within six months I was heading on my first overseas trip, ,” he said.

“Since then I have been to Europe twice, visited New York and the US a couple of times, performed in the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver and held the Sydney Olympic torch in Athens.

“I have met the Queen and performed for her twice, including delivering a Reconciliation speech, I’ve had a jam session with Prince Edward who played the drums and was the first fellow to get Prime Minister Kevin Rudd up on stage to do a corroboree.

“I’ve met Cate Blanchett, Sally Field, Olivia Newton John, Eric Bana, Rachel Griffiths, Michael Caine – this is the world you have the opportunity to get exposed to in hospitality.”

It is the exciting world of hospitality which Warren wants to introduce to young people looking for work, and the veteran performer is especially keen to see more Indigenous people sharing their culture with visitors.

“You don’t need a million dollars to travel the world and meet interesting people, I have been able to do these things through the power of culture,” Warren said.

“I want to pass on my knowledge and guide young people to become more confident in themselves so they are empowered to find meaningful employment.”

Warren has left the Tjapukai stage to join Break Thru People Solutions, a national not-for-profit organisation committed to empowering people to create their own futures by providing high quality person-centric programs to address mental health, employment, disability, homelessness and training needs.

He and Break Thru training coordinator Evelyn Myatt have taken traditional hospitality training to a new level in Cairns by adding Indigenous cultural performance and relationship building to a Certificate 2 in Hospitality.

The first 11-week course begins on June 2 and the Get on Board Training Program will culminate in a presentation evening where the 20 students will demonstrate their newly acquired skills and share their resumes with potential employers from the tourism and hospitality industry.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park Chief Executive Officer Geoff Olson thanked Warren for the mentoring role he had assumed at Tjapukai and wished him well for the next step of his career.

“This exciting new role builds on the exemplary skills Warren has shared with his fellow performers at Tjapukai and I look forward to meeting the next generation of hospitality workers shaped by his years of passion for sharing Indigenous culture with the world.”

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