The Mayor of Palm Island has called for fresh solutions to the community’s exceedingly high unemployment, saying people may have to leave the island to find jobs.

Meanwhile jobs were also the focus of a group of Former Origin Greats who teamed up at a Careers Expo in Brisbane today to help young Indegenious people plan their futures.

Clare Hunter reports.


Origin legends and Origin stalwarts united at the Brisbane jobs expo as a way to help bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment.

Arthur ‘Artie’ Beetson, Former Origin Great: “If you prepare well then everything goes well for you and they’ve got a lot of incredible opportunities these kids, I just wish we had the same opportunities when I was a kid.”

Drawn by the superstar front row, local students spent the school day getting autographs and then getting hands on with the exhibits.

Around 80 stalls from a wide range of industries tantalised the crowds, giving the youngsters a taste of careers in a range of areas from art to the army.

Vox 1: “I wanna be a techer of graphic design.”

Vox 2: “Physiotherapy.”

Vox 3: “Being an Indigenous liaison officer.”

The Origin stars passed on their tips for success in life.

Ashley Harrison, Maroons Lock Forward: “Pick something your really enjoy, stick with it and work hard.”

While young people here are taking advantage of the info packs and hands on exhibits the Amnesty International forum for human rights for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is under way at Parliament House.

The Palm Island Community of North Queensland has had a troubled past with unemployment at 97 per cent, Indigenous jobseekers may have to go back to the mainland.

Alfred Lacey, Mayor of Palm Island: “A lot of jobs aren’t going to be in those towns we have to work to get our youth and our young population into working in the next town or the closest regional office.”

But back at the stadium the young jobseekers were aiming high.

Vox 4: “I wanna be a footballer.”

Clare Hunter, QUT News.