SURF'S UP: Surfer Ron Newley-Guivarra is encouraging Indigenous locals to get  surfing.
SURF'S UP: Surfer Ron Newley-Guivarra is encouraging Indigenous locals to get surfing. Picture Contrbuted

Ride the waves of success, push for Indigenous surf program

SURFING: Indigenous surfing identity Ron Newley-Guivarra sees potential for Aboriginal youths to ride the waves of success with him at Agnes Water.

Newley-Guivarra returned to Agnes a couple of years ago.

But he previously spent 10 years on the Sunshine Coast fine-tuning his surfing.

Newley-Guivarra also spent 10 years in Cape York learning about his Torres Strait Islander culture.

"There are some really good talented Indigenous surfers out there in the community and (they) might not be getting the support needed to get them out here," he said.

Newley-Guivarra started surfing from humble beginnings.

He said the sport was challenging and took effort.

"I first started surfing at Tannum Sands with a board under my arm," Newley-Guivarra said.

"I'm old school and I'm back home now and want the Indigenous youth and the older surfers to come out and have a go."

Indigenous surfing programs are popular in other states, especially Victoria.

The Victorian Indigenous Surfing Program was established 19 years ago.

The aim of the program is to increase the number of young Indigenous surfers in Victoria with lessons and water-safety programs.

It is strongly supported by the community and offers jobs for Indigenous Victorians in the surf industry.

Newley-Guivarra said he was passionate about starting a similar program at Agnes Water.

"Surfing is a culture all over the world and is one big family - just like the Indigenous culture here," he said.

"Right now I'm looking into getting a sponsor and working on meetings for a fundraiser.

"I want to bring the Indigenous culture to the ocean and for the Gooreng Gooreng people."