Gavin Turnbull

Gavin Turnbull is a descendent of the Mithaka people.

"I am a proud Aboriginal person because this is what I was born. Aborigines are one of the strongest and oldest living cultures in the world, not to mention the deadliest."

Gavin is proud to be an Aboriginal person, and teaches his children to be proud of who they are and where they come from.

Gavin is currently employed at UnitingCare Community as a Residential Youth Worker. His job is to teach young people life skills; which range from cooking, communication, and hygiene to appropriate behaviour in society.

Gavin hopes to work his way up the ladder into a position where he has more say in the running of the Residential.

"Treat people the way you like to be treated," is what Gavin says to the young people at his workplace. This saying means a lot to Gavin as it is something his father had said to him at a young age, and has stuck in his mind ever since.

He feels he is making a positive impact in the community by keeping the young people out of trouble, and teaching them that if they go down the wrong path they may never return.

"I just tell them straight out. They don't like to hear it sometimes but it's the truth."

Gavin is a talented painter and he enjoys painting traditional Aboriginal art, as well as other forms which include landscapes and portraits. Gavin also takes the time to try and teach the young people he works with cultural painting.

"One of my biggest achievements in life was getting married, having children and now being a grandfather."

Gavin has also quit smoking for the sake of his children, and so that he could teach them the healthy way in life.

DESCRIPTION: Gavin's painting is called "Spirit Dance". The spirits are a male and a female dancing around the light of life. The two colours in the circle represent two angels. The rainbow serpent is the creator of everything. The outer circles are ripples in sand. Honey ants and witchy grubs are traditional Aboriginal food. The white flowers represent a new beginning. The footprints are the journey that we take.