Sharon Phineasa - Student Support Officer – Townsville / Charters Towers / Abergowrie
Sharon Phineasa is a proud descendant of the Ait-Koedal (Crocodile) and Dhoeybaw (Wild Yam) clans of Dauan and Saibai Islands from the top Western Torres Strait.
As a successful Indigenous artist for over 24yrs, Sharon has shared her cultural knowledge through her art, and she is strongly committed to promoting awareness with the wider community of the importance of preserving traditional languages, cultural knowledge, art, history and lore. Sharon has had works exhibited nationally, and internationally, and even had her artwork featured on the North Queensland Cowboys Indigenous Round Jersey back in 2016.
Sharon is also passionate about empowering our youth to fulfil their potential by connecting them with pathways for personal, leadership and professional development. Whether it’s through education, training and employment opportunities, Sharon’s hopes are that our youth experience positive growth and gain the necessary skills & confidence they need to explore what life has to offer.
Working within education support for over a decade across Primary, Secondary and Tertiary areas, Sharon has provided wrap-around support to Indigenous students, walking alongside them to ensure their goals and aspirations are realised.
Sharon shares that among her successes was supporting a young Gunggandji man from Yarrabah through boarding school and helped steer him towards a university pathway. He studied Law and graduated with honours and Sharon was present the day he was officially admitted as a Lawyer in the Cairns Supreme Court in 2022. She said this was an amazing full circle moment and it was a powerful testament that our young ones can achieve anything they set their minds to.
The value of education has always been a main emphasis in the Phineasa family with Sharon’s own children studying at James Cook University – her eldest daughter is studying towards a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and her other daughter is currently studying a dual degree of Law and Arts.
“Being an artist, I love the creative process of creating works of art, starting out with a concept design, and seeing it through to the end – whether it takes on the form of a drawing, painting or sculpture.
However, among my greatest works and life’s masterpieces have been the following: being a mother to my beautiful children and working with young people, encouraging them to create a life they value and finding a purpose to fulfil for themselves. You can never underestimate the power of being an example and how it creates a ripple effect of change in all areas of their lives.
As much as I love all things art, I also love seeing young ones grow and succeed. To be a part of this great work of changing lives is such a blessing”.