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Woorabinda trio's trip of a lifetime to see Taylor Swift in Sydney

Giovanni Torre -

Three young people from a remote Aboriginal community are basking in the afterglow of Monday night's Taylor Swift concert.

The trio travelled from Woorabinda, two hours' drive from Rockhampton, Queensland, to attend the concert thanks to Venues NSW and with support from Community Spirit Foundation; and they stepped out in style with outfits provided by Princess Polly.

Woorabinda suffered a series of tragedies at the end of 2023, and Community Spirit Foundation Program Manager Khanita Sukaserm said the trip to Sydney for the concert was beyond the wildest dreams of the three luck participants.

"They were so excited when they found out they were going to see Taylor Swift. They just couldn't believe it," she said.

"It really means a lot, because I've seen the girls face a lot of obstacles in their life and the Woorabinda community has been through a lot in the past few months. But this gave them something to look forward to and a chance for them to have a bit of fun.

"I'm sure it's something they'll never forget."

Nineteen-year-old Dakota Saltner said coming from a community with a population of one thousand people, the concert was like nothing she had ever experienced before.

"Getting ready, I was excited but nervous; I didn't really know what to expect," she said.

"I've never seen that many people in one place before.

"But I loved all the fireworks, the costume changes and special effects. It really was a once in a life-time experience."

Community Spirit Foundation delivers a range of programs in Woorabinda designed to support First Nations young people as they navigate their schooling years and beyond.

The Horizons program takes up to 90 students from Community Spirit Foundation's four partner communities to Australia's capital cities, so they can experience life outside their remote community and connect with education and employment pathways.

The students also attend sporting and cultural events, visit galleries and museums, challenge themselves on ropes courses and master the logistics of moving around a big city.

While the trip to see Taylor Swift was out of session, Horizons Manager Rylie Charles said the foundation was committed to ensuring First Nations young people from remote Aboriginal communities have the same opportunities as their regional and urban-based peers.

"The young people we work with face a range of barriers every day. But we want them to have the confidence to reach for whatever that want to do, and go wherever they want to go," she said.

The Community Spirit Foundation said its programs take "a holistic approach to education outcomes aligning with schools and community leaders to build on the innate strength within the community to develop the capability of young people".

The foundation states it is dedicated to creating long-term, sustainable programs led by First Nations staff in Queensland, communities Palm Island and Woorabinda, and in the Northern Territory communities Galiwin'ku and Wurrumiyanga.

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