Uncle Barry – Committee Member

Uncle Barry Watson is the Elder in Residence at Harris Fields State School and has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood for many years. For three years he ran the Nyeumba Jarjumms (“Teaching Children”) A&TSI Childcare Traineeship program, recruiting and mentoring workers annually which he placed in local childcare centres. He delivers the A&TSI module “Working with Indigenous Children and their Families” every year at training colleges and has developed many early childhood resources including his Walkabout Mat Game, an Indigenous version of Snakes and Ladders, and has produced several children’s books in the local Yugambeh language. Uncle Barry provides weekly cultural classes in local primary schools, teaches many traditional games and provides cultural awareness training to workers across government and non-government organisations.

He is a respected Community Elder in Logan City and a member of many local action groups. Uncle Barry was formerly CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service in Brisbane for four years and is on the Mater Nurses Advisory Board and lectures nursing intakes on the A&TSI health module. He was also Manager of the Murri and Torres Strait Network, which provided early intervention and prevention programs. Uncle Barry ran the Gunnadoo Vacation Care Program and is President of the Indigenous Sports and Recreation Foundation, which provides grants to young A&TSI children to assist with costs for representative sports such as travel subsidies, registration fees and sporting gear. Barry worked for The Salvation Army Communities for Children program for thirteen years as the Elder in residence. He completed his Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management at age 64 as an encouragement to regional youth and enjoys mentoring others with the same passion for building a better community for our children. In 2015 he received the NAIDOC Award for Elder of the Year for SE Queensland. He was runner-up for Australian of the Year (QLD) in the Community section in 2015. In 2017 he was invited to be part of the judging panel for the QLD Reconciliation, NAIDOC and Australian of the Year Awards and continues his role each year as Ambassador for Australia Day having visited Julia Creek, Cunnamulla, Burketown, Birdsville, Cooktown and Barcaldine. He participates in many Restorative Youth Justice Conferences for the State Government and has been a QATSIC Elder for many years. Barry is currently Co-Chair of the Logan-Redlands RAP Committee for Carers Queensland and First Nations representative on the Advisory Board of Queensland African Community Council.