Trainee Blog: Claudia’s Chris Johnson Cup Experience
Every year the Chris Johnson Cup Award is presented to a QLD Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander trainee, aged between 16-30 years of age, who has excelled in the workplace and demonstrated incredible initiative and leadership qualities.
This year’s award winner is Claudia Henry who completed her traineeship at Kmart.
As part of the award, Claudia had the opportunity to travel to the tip of Cape York on an epic adventure.
Below is her story of the journey.
My Chris Johnson Cup Experience
The Chris Johnson Cup is a priceless trip with priceless memories that will stay with me forever. Embracing a culture that is very different from mine for 5 days.
14 cars in line with 10 troopers, 100 people with one goal including 66 kids.
The Adventure on the rough corrugated road with huge dips in them making everyone jump for 10 hours, to our first stop at Musgrove Station for lunch. It’s honestly a different world because it is so isolated. Same as our first night stop at Bramwell Station because it is very dry and remote in the middle of nowhere. Girls were sleeping in tents and swags and the boys mainly in swags.
Day three is the day I’ll never forget from the drive to the tip, to the small hike to the very top of Queensland where all the different shades of blue collide is something out of a picture, but pictures don’t do it justice. It’s a place I highly recommend everyone should see at least once in their life.
Then to the local oval for the No School No Play program run by AFL Cape York where the kids look forward to this day all year. Just making a difference to one kid’s day changes your life. We were kicking the footy around and running around. Later that day we did a colour run. They gave out white t-shirts and packet of coloured powder to each kid and we all ran around the oval throwing it at everyone and some getting colour to the face. The smiles on the kid’s faces so bright and full of life, it just shows how important days like these are.
(Me, after the colour run)
That night we had some guest speakers talk to us including: Chris Johnson, Nola Tee and the Gold Coast Suns representatives sharing their stories, all so inspirational and moving as they have done so much with what’s been handed to them.
From a girl who didn’t understand much of AFL I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge on the game from being on this camp. Mainly from all the footy we played and watching the teams play, where 2 different schools joined us making 7 teams, 4 boy teams and 2 girl teams. Just watching the kids play and interact with each other, if one pushed another over they would stop and help them up then continue playing.
After the long day of footy, we traveled to Fruit Bat Falls and this had to be my favourite place of the whole trip. It was just picture perfect ( crystal clear water, waterfalls and light blue water) found in the middle of a forest, surrounded by a dusty dirt road. The 12-hour drive back was full of emotions mainly happy but sad because this amazing trip was coming to an end.
If I could say one thing to the person who goes on this trip of a lifetime next year – be sure to step out of your comfort zone, talk to the kids, help out any way you can. You’ll get the most out of the trip if you put in 100%.
I would like to thank AFL SportReady, AFL Cape York, Rick, Josh, Shelby, Nols and everyone else that joined the trip I had the most amazing experience. I’ll truly never forget it.
Image: (Claudia at the tip of Australia)