My name is Leilani Hale, I am 18 years old and Yuku Baja Muliku’s Healthy Water Coordinator. I was born in Mareeba in 2003. We moved to Cooktown just after my little sister was born so that my parents can start working full-time at Archer Point.
I started school at the Cooktown State School, but as I was being bullied. I went to the Endeavour Christian College when it opened and was there for five years.
I went to boarding school in Brisbane in 2017, when I was in year 8. It was hard at first to adjust due to being so far away from my home, and also the difference in education they received in year 7 compared to me. However, I graduated in 2021 with an ATAR of 81.00 and I plan on studying Anthropology and Marine Biology at University.
At school I played soccer and in the first couple of years I played touch. I also did music lessons, for piano and guitar.
My whole family is artistic in some way, my mother paints and makes jewellery, my dad does leather presses, my brother burns didgeridoos, and my sister makes candles, soaps, and does pottery. And we all play a minimum of one instrument.
I have been painting on and off since I was 8, where I designed the shirts that are used for YBM’s Junior Ranger Program. However, I have not painted often during my schooling years, however I have just started to paint again now that I have graduated and am back home. My mum helped me with my painting over the last ten years. When I was 10, my nan taught me how to knit, and I have made a couple of scarves, and am now trying to learn to crochet. Recently I have started to make jewellery with seed beads.
My family is from Cape York.
On my Mother’s side, my Great-Grandfather, Jack Doughboy was a Jalunji Warra man from Archer Point, which is just south of Cooktown.
My Great-Grandmother, Louisa Banjo was a Kunjan Olkol woman from Laura.
My Mother’s Father was of European decent.
From my dad’s side of the family, I have Māori ancestry through his Father side, and through his Mother side we are from a well-known circus family.