Vincent Leo and Tina Doak practice tai chi.
Vincent Leo and Tina Doak practice tai chi.

Tribal Children’s Defence

AS YOUTH crime continues to run rampant throughout Central Queensland, cries for persecution and tougher penalties have rung out from fed-up locals.

However, one Rockhampton mother, Tina Doak, is urging people to instead turn their gaze towards the justice system that she says is doing more harm than good to our kids.

Last week, Ms Doak was in Canberra, speaking to parliament about “what’s going on with indigenous or any child incarcerated”.

“I’m trying to find a program to stop incarceration and getting children to become spiritual and physical warriors,” she said.

According to Ms Doak, more and more lives are being lost while in custody - “an exclusive analysis of 10 years of coronial data found 407 indigenous people had died in police or prison custody since the end of the royal commission in 1991”.

She said there were also children who are being exposed to sexual abuse within the community, and that she herself had experienced the devastation of being a targeted, at-risk youth.

“I was sexually abused as a child,” she said.

“I’ve been so passionate about getting rid of sex abusers and used to chase them out of Yeppoon.

“These children deserve to run on these streets and be safe.”

Ms Doak said most of the time, problem behaviour in youths starts in the home.

“Lots of kids still aren’t safe. they go home to abusive houses and to me that’s the problem,” she said.

“I want zero tolerance of any home abuse or sexual violent abuse. Anything that will hurt their spirit.

“Police are also in active violence against protesters and children. They shouldn’t be strip-searching children.

“How has that passed government and legislation? What sort of leaders do we have?”

Ms Doak hopes to begin centres in Rockhampton and Yeppoon – and then launch more around the region to provide these at-risk children with a safe place to go.

“If we put power and love back into their bodies and develop their minds and bodies, they will have love for themselves and connection with themselves.

“They won’t be on the streets or think about taking drugs.”

Last month, Ms Doak launched a GoFundMe campaign to help form “protective and safe communities” for youth.

This initiative involves sourcing a vacant location to use as a centre for the city’s troubled youth.

Ms Doak said she has already had people volunteer to teach kids tai chi, boxing, and meditation, as well as teaching indigenous children about the “fundamentals of ancient arts”.

“Hopefully we will have our first opening day soon. I’m looking forward to it,” she said.

“I want to get Darumbal elders down and teach them the languages because some are getting lost.

“Children don’t worry about playing up when they have culture, music and arts to involve their time in.

“They naturally aren’t naughty – they’re beautiful, happy and full of imagination and I want to see that come out of them.”

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