Alf Joyce

I was born in Innisfail, have five children, nine grandchildren and have lived and worked on my grandmother's traditional country all my life.

MaMu traditional country includes land and sea country between Ella Bay and Kurrimine Beach, west to the Liverpool Creek, South Johnstone River, North Johnstone River and some of the Russell River catchment in the range west of Millaa Millaa.

My greatest mentor was my father John "Sailor" Joyce, who taught me respect for your elders, other people's property, good work ethics and our culture. I also looked up to my older brother and at what he had achieved in life and on the sporting fields.

In my younger days I had several jobs and from 1963 worked with land surveyors and saw a lot of our country.

In 1972 I joined the Queensland Fire Service where I learned respect for my work mates and the importance of working as a team. The personal highlights of my career included:
- community work in fire education in schools
- promotion to 1st class fire fighter
- a Queensland Government Indigenous Achievement Award in 2002, and
- helping people after cyclones and the gratitude of people involved in a fire or accident who really made you feel like you had achieved something worthwhile.

I retired from the Fire Service in 2006 to work for our corporation. I helped negotiate a Traditional Use Marine Resources Agreement with GBRMPA, participated in negotiations for the MaMu Rainforest Canopy Walk, and maintain our Cultural Heritage database and record Cultural Heritage Sites. I volunteer 15 hours a week with our corporation.

We have to ensure our young people get a good education so they have skills and knowledge to successfully gain employment in their chosen careers. We have to preserve our culture and language for future generations before they are lost forever.

DESCRIPTION: MaMu Elder, Alf Joyce