Inspiring Indigenous trainee creates world first
AFL SportsReady trainee Jaeda Lenoy, has danced her way to the history books as she and 271 other Indigenous performers attempted to set the world record for the largest Aboriginal dance.
Held on Palm Island in North Queensland, the dance was part of a three-day cultural festival to mark the Island’s centenary and featured some of the best First Nations performers in the world.
‘I felt very proud to be a part of something like this,’ said Jaeda, a proud 15-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman with her roots from Birrah in North Queensland, Gumbaynggirr in New South Wales and the South Sea Islands.
Dancing has always been a love of Jaeda’s and although she has performed many times before, this was something particularly special.
‘It felt very powerful to dance on sacred earth and there was a moment when myself and other dancers could feel a connection between us all. There was a feeling of love around us and a sense of family, strength and understanding,’ Jaeda explained.
Although the attempt is still in the process of being validated by Guinness Worlds Records, the dancers are confident they hit the mark.
‘It was of the most beautiful and moving experiences of my life.’
Jaeda didn’t travel to Palm Island alone, she travelled with ‘Stars Foundation’, an Indigenous cultural network she has recently become a part of.
‘Our focus is to help Aboriginal girls with their health, fitness and schooling. It’s something I am very passionate about.’
The devoted and motivated young dancer is also a keen advocate for Aboriginal affairs having participated in the Constitutional Speech twice which expresses opinions and actions regarding Indigenous matters and is presented in Canberra.
‘I want to keep getting involved and help out where I can so I can make a difference.’
Aside from all the amazing projects and passions Jaeda takes part in, she is also currently completing a School-based traineeship at Kmart in Aitkvenvale Townsville.
‘I love learning new things, meeting new people and helping others and that is exactly what my traineeship allows me to do. It gives me the opportunity to really grow and gives me the confidence and guidance I need to reach my potential.’
After she finishes high school, Jaeda is keen to go to University and explore her favourite fields including Education, Aboriginal studies, Japanese, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and social work.
At only 15 Jaeda is on a mission to make a positive impact within her community and beyond and we think this will be the first of many records to fall at the hands of this brilliant young trainee.
To find out more about the diverse range of rewarding careers available through vocational education and training, and watch the real skills for real careers video, visit www.myskills.gov.au
Date: 3rd May 2018
Author: Marissa Pagliarello
Image: Jaeda (far right) with members of the dance group