STEPPING UP: Butchulla elder Glen Miller is looking forward to the new Rites of Passage program which is aimed at providing young Indigenous men with role models.
STEPPING UP: Butchulla elder Glen Miller is looking forward to the new Rites of Passage program which is aimed at providing young Indigenous men with role models. Nancy Bates

Our Rite of Passage: Butchulla men lead by example

GLEN Miller has been watching young Butchulla men and boys growing up on the Fraser Coast without any male role models or any understanding of Indigenous culture.

He's worried.

"We have so many single mothers these days, too many boys are growing into young men in families without any older male figures to help them understand what it is to be a man,” he said.

In August, an inaugural Rites of Passage four-day camp will be held on Butchulla land at Ravens Hill in what Mr Miller hopes will be the first step in giving both indigenous and non-indigenous youth guidance on what responsibilities come with manhood.

"It's not just Butchulla people who have this problem with young men losing direction,” he said.

"We are aiming to get about 20 - half indigenous and half white if possible - to take this step.”

Impetus for the camp came in October when Mr Miller, president of the Butchulla Men's Business Aboriginal Association, led a delegation of elders and teachers to an emotional workshop with Dr Arne Rubinstein, CEO of The Making of Men and Rites of Passage.

Dr Rubinstein will be in the Fraser Coast this week to discuss the August camp at Hervey Bay and Maryborough high schools.

He held his first session last night at Urangan State High School.

Dr Rubinstein said the Making of Men team was honoured to be part of the significant event aimed at restoring traditional practices within the Butchulla community and helping build the next generation of leaders.

Executive principal of USHS Robin Rayner said it was a wonderful initiative to partner with the organisation.

"It will build the confidence and identity of our young indigenous men,” Ms Rayner said.

"Working with the community is one of the best ways to improve the lives of our students.”