Justin Lee-Walker is a softly spoken man who has for many years understood the importance of maintaining culture and looking after Country.
Born in Mareeba in 1978 Justin grew up in Coen as a young lad with his mother’s family.
As a Wik-Mungkan man, Justin has lived and worked at Merapah Station, which is an outstation north west of Coen.
It was here, through the mentoring of his grandfather, that he learnt the teachings of culture, language, dance and the importance of being a warrior.
Justin is an Information and Inspection Officer with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at Biosecurity Queensland, where he helps the government’s effort to prevent, respond to, and recover from pests and disease that threaten the economy and environment.
Where were you born?
I was born in Mareeba in 1978 and my traditional country is Wik-Mungkan in the Merapah area.
What have been some of your biggest achievements?
My biggest achievement is learning my culture, language and song from my grandfather and learning the knowledge of looking after country.
I am a medicine man and a warrior, something that I take seriously and something that is close to my heart.
Who have been your biggest influences in your life?
My grandfather taught me my culture, language, song and dance and he has been the biggest influence in my life.
He has been my mentor and role model and when some of my family passed away I realised that I needed to go back out bush and listen to the spirits and the old people (Ancestors) for direction in my life.
What are your plans for the future?
I have been working with Biosecurity Queensland (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) for seven years and I would like to stay there for a few more years, but ultimately I want to take my cousins and grandsons out to country and teach them their culture and show them their future.
What advice do you have to help our young people succeed in life?
My hopes for the younger kids is to make sure that they speak their language and learn their culture, whether it be through shake-a-leg (dance), songs, fishing or cultural stories.
For me, it’s about raising them to be warriors.
The deadly stories campaign celebrates the many achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities.
What’s your Deadly Story?
Check out other Deadly Story’s at www.reconciliation.qld.gov.au/reconciliation/deadly-stories