FOR the past ten years, Aunty Lenore Kempnich has been going in and out of schools across the Fraser Coast teaching kids how to live off the land.

And now, with a NAIDOC award under her arm, she saw just how much her teaching mattered to the young people of the region.

Ms Kempnich was awarded the Community Person of the Year at Monday's NAIDOC flag raising ceremony in Hervey Bay for her work with schoolchildren across the region.

Her classes involve teaching kids about Indigenous culture and bush tucker.

Naidoc flag raising and awards ceremony at Fraser Coast Cultural Centre - Lenore Kempnich (Community Person of the Year).
Naidoc flag raising and awards ceremony at Fraser Coast Cultural Centre - Lenore Kempnich (Community Person of the Year). Alistair Brightman

"It's so overwhelming for me, because there are so many people in the community who are well-deserving of this award," Ms Kempnich said.

"I've spent all my live naturally doing it, but for about ten years I've been going in and out of different schools teaching them about bush tucker and our culture."

One of her lasting memories as a teacher was seeing the kids come back to her with stories about the plants and animals they had seen.

She said it was like seeing her teaching come full circle.

 

"They run up to me and tell me 'I've seen this bush, I've seen bushes with berries on it and never ate it,'" Ms Kempnich said.

"It's really encouraging in that sense."

Ms Kempnich said she'd keep hosting more classes for the region's schoolkids, given the enthusiasm at Monday's ceremony.

Her award was one of about ten, with Aunty Jan Williams receiving the lifetime achievement award for her work with indigenous locals.

Students Keysha Baker and Abina Page received the NAIDOC Young Leaders award.



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