Mount Isa City Council has demonstrated its strong focus on youth by bringing league star Johnathan Thurston and his namesake academy to town.
His visit was to inspire local high school students with positive messages promoting self-confidence and self-belief, which has been overwhelmingly well-received.
Representatives of the Johnathan Thurston Academy conducted a workshop with Spinifex State College Junior Campus students on Tuesday, August 6, where they spoke about self-belief and treating people with respect.
The following day, Johnathan visited Good Shepherd Catholic College, the Spinifex Junior and Residential campuses, and the Mount Isa Flexible Learning Centre, to meet with students and spread his messages about perseverance, being the best person you can be, and the importance of teachers, as well as describing how he got to where he is today.
Mayor Joyce McCulloch said council was extremely pleased to bring JT to Mount Isa to not only meet with local students, but also appear at the Isa Street Festival, where people could have their photo taken with him at a special photo booth set up at council's stall.
JT also presented a signed Maroons jersey to the winner of council's Facebook competition, Melissa Eggmolesse.
"We were all excited to have JT here this year and the crowds were thrilled beyond words to see him at the Street Festival," Cr McCulloch said.
Spinifex State College Principal Phil Sweeney said having JT at the school was a real inspiration for students and staff alike.
"JT reflects the values of Spinifex State College of living life inspired by courage, resilience and success," Mr Sweeney said.
"The Residential Campus students were absolutely thrilled with his visit and were really excited to get photos with him.
"The feedback we got from Year 8 and Residential students was total excitement to see him. "Thanks to JT's messages of self-empowerment, they also got a sense that they can achieve and dream big as well.
"I really was inspired by not only the work that JT has done on the football field and the incredible brilliance he has there, but also by just the humanity he has and what he shares with the school. He has a really strong sense of community and a big heart for young people.
"The fact that he stressed to students the importance of education to be able to help them achieve well in life meant a lot to us as well."
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