MR ENTSCH: Madam Deputy Speaker Claydon, I rise today to share with you my recent visit to the Mossman Elders Group in my electorate of Leichardt, in Mossman. It’s an inspiring community organisation led by Patricia Clacherty. The Mossman Elders Group is made up of a small staff of three and four active elders ranging from 60 to 82 years of age. This dedicated team is well-known in the town, with the principal of the local school and the cafe owners all recognising their invaluable contribution to the community.
The group plays a crucial role in significantly minimising youth crime in Mossman thanks, in large part, to their hands-on approach and strong connection to the community. They attend court sessions, donate prizes for events and fund art supplies out of their own pocket. Every Tuesday morning the elders host one of their art sessions, which is attended by many locals. They provide breakfast, a comfortable place to relax and a chance for everybody to catch up. The group’s programs have even been identified through the comments of magistrates, demonstrating the impact they have on the community. I was delighted to learn the group is working on getting an 85-inch TV for movie nights to further engage local youth and to help them achieve their goal of youth engagement. I’m working with the group to raise $80,000 for a 21-seat coaster bus. The bus will enable these wonderful elders to bring these kids in need of support back onto country, reconnecting them with their culture and providing invaluable mentorship and a bit of fun on the way.
The Mossman Elders Group is an outstanding example of how Indigenous Elders and justice groups can have a profound, positive impact on their communities.