Justin Lee-Walker

Justin Lee-Walker is a softly spoken man who has for many years understood the importance of maintaining culture and looking after Country.

Born in Mareeba in 1978 Justin grew up in Coen as a young lad with his mother's family.

As a Wik-Mungkan man, Justin has lived and worked at Merapah Station, which is an outstation north west of Coen.

It was here, through the mentoring of his grandfather, that he learnt the teachings of culture, language, dance and the importance of being a warrior.

Justin is an Information and Inspection Officer with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at Biosecurity Queensland, where he helps the government's effort to prevent, respond to, and recover from pests and disease that threaten the economy and environment.

"My grandfather has been my mentor and role model and when some of my family passed away I realised that I needed to go back out bush and listen to the spirits and the old people (ancestors) for direction in my life." Justin said.

He has taken on the role of teaching his young cousins and other family members the importance of looking after Country which is very close to heart.

"Learning off my grandad, about my language and culture, this makes me proud and the spirit rise up inside me." Justin said.

"I see many of the young people doing drugs and this makes me feel bad and the best way to get them away from the drugs is to take them out to country and teach them that we are strong spirited Aboriginals."

His family, cousins, nephews and grandchildren see him as a role model and as a medicine man. Justin uses country as a source of healing through the bush medicines.

Ultimately, Justin wants to take his cousins, nephews and grandsons out to country and teach them their culture and show them their future.

"My hopes for the younger kids, is to make sure that they speak their language and learn their culture, whether it is be through shake-a-leg (dance), songs, fishing or cultural stories.

"For me, it's about raising them to be warriors."