GALLERY: NAIDOC helps find culture, passion, identity
THERE was a time when passionate indigenous man, James Doyle knew very little about his culture or his people.
That all change with the imminent birth of his daughter.
"I had no culture and no identity. I was lost. I only spoke about three words of language," he said.
"So at 25, I started to learn my language and culture.
"I had a daughter on the way so I realised the importance of handing something on to her, so that she didn't have that lack of identity like me."
Owner of Muja Mundu Creations, facilitators of indigenous culture, Mr Doyle said NAIDOC celebrations were an important part of making people aware of that identity.
"Its all about sharing culture and empowering and strengthening our people's identity," Mr Doyle said.
With his family, he conducted the smoking ceremony during Kingaroy's NAIDOC celebrations at Memorial Park on Monday July 1.
He said performing these indigenous ceremonies to all Australians was crucial to holding on to the history and significance of indigenous practices.
"It's so important to educate our brothers and sisters both indigenous and non indigenous," he said.
"So that they have a better understanding of what we are doing, why we do it and the process and the meaning behind it."
In his previous roles, Mr Doyle has worked closely with indigenous youth.
"I worked in youth detention as an indigenous program provider for 11 years," he said.
"I taught art and dance. I kept the kids connected to their identity.
"That really lifts the spirit and improved who they were ."
He has seen first hand how having an awareness and pride in your heritage can assist in other areas of life.
"I think most of them come from poor family support," Mr Doyle said.
"There was a lot of issues in the family, so they didn't really have the role models that they needed and the support they at they needed."
"All of them are really beautiful kids, they just lacked that support and cultural support."
The proud indigenous advocate encouraged young aboriginal people to seek out information about their heritage.
"Start asking questions," Mr Doyle said.
"Start asking who you are and where you are from.
"Ask your aunties and uncles," he said.
"And when people give you information, it's so important to listen."
See our photo gallery from Kingaroy's NAIDOC Celebrations below.