Young fellas? Champions when they get the chance to Find their Feet

The boys gather like those budgies ya see out bush who have finally found a waterhole. Wings flap, squawks are made, boys be boys. Amongst them stands a fella who doesn’t flap his wings, colours not so bright.’I don’t want to come in sir’ he says. I don’t want to be here. I don’t relate to any of these guys, it’s why I hate school’. He says it with so much fear in his voice you can see the panic in his feet. They shuffle like Elvis when the music played. After a week of workshops the teacher has opened the doors to anyone who wants to join in- 100 fellas take the opportunity. The boy reluctantly follows the flock. We go through the motions. Time passes. ‘Grab someone you’ve never spoken with and sit along the line with em’, I sing out. A Wiley good looking rooster grabs hold of the boy. The rest of the room follows suit and find a furphy to stand around. Armour comes down. The floor is open. The boy takes a seat in front of the room. Shares his story in front of everyone. His pain. His losses. His everyday struggles just to walk through the gates of school roll off his tongue like an auctioneer calls out numbers. Silence falls like Far North Queensland rain-it’s deafening. A fella from the back of the room calls out through a voice choking with emotion. ‘I’m sorry, I never knew your story. I’m sorry for how I’ve made you feel’. I’m sorry too, says another. Then another. Then another. Eventually the whole room sprouts from the floor like a field of sunflowers and one by one they either hug him or hold him. The boy sits down and smiles. His world has changed for the good forever. Two more boys in his position do what he just did. Apologies follow. Boys who’ve never smiled leave with springs in their steps. The wings have stopped flapping, the squawking changed tone. All of them gather round the water hole now, colours prettier than ever before. Young men-give them a chance to fly and they soon begin to soar! Find Your Feet-Be Like Bastien