As a member of the remote Indigenous community of Aurukun, 21 year-old Waynead has faced many challenges growing up, but he chooses to wake up early everyday, lace up his running shoes and hit the red dirt tracks on his morning run around town. He is literally running against the tide of disadvantage, carrying with him the hope that he can inspire other young First Nations people to chase down their dreams, just like he has.
Waynead is a marathon runner — a title he recently earned and one he is incredibly proud of. In 2021, he completed his first marathon in Alice Springs and in 2022, he travelled over 13,000kms from his regional hometown to Greece, to run the gruelling 42km Authentic Athens Classic Marathon.
In 2014, a 12 year-old Waynead walked into PCYC Aurukun for the first time. At the club, he found a safe space with a wealth of support services and a big focus on sport and recreational activities for young people, to help combat anti-social behaviours and keep youth engaged with their community. He soon realised it was the kind of place where he mattered, and where he could chase his dreams and make a real impact in his community.
‘Walking into PCYC Aurukun that day changed my life for the better,’ he says. ‘They gave me a safe place to come to, they’ve helped me achieve my goals and we’ve had so much fun along the way’
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