Stronger Smarter: Just what the doctor ordered

Vibe Alive gets Stronger and Smarter with Chris Sarra

Primary and Secondary school students from across Queensland will learn how to make stronger and smarter decisions when it comes to their careers and education during the Vibe Alive festival to be hosted in Townsville on the 26thand 27th of May.

According to Dr Chris Sarra, Executive Director of the Stronger Smarter Institute QUT, the first step to career success is for students to build their belief in themselves. As an Aboriginal academic he knows just how important it is to aim high when it comes to your career expectations. He believes all young people can be stronger and smarter and that it is entirely possible to reverse the trends of low school retention and career expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“At the Stronger Smarter Institute we want to change the tide of low expectation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australian schools – and we believe we’re doing it,” said Dr Sarra.

Dr Sarra is also co-patron of Vibe Alive, which has been held in communities around Australia for the past three years. The world-class educator and advocate of quality education and healthy lifestyles will deliver a workshop for different age groups over the two days of the youth festival.

“Vibe Alive is an opportunity for young people to come together in a creative learning environment to be challenged and inspired,” he said.

Dr Sarra believes Principals and Teachers should look at Vibe Aliveas a way to engage students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, in education, cultural identity and goal setting for the future.

“Role models like Rohanee Cox, Ernie Dingo and Naomi Wenitong will inspire the students over the two days to help improve self-confidence, tolerance and promote working together.

“Groups will compete in painting, singing, dancing, Indigenous games, cultural workshops and numeracy and literacy challenges in a fun and nurturing atmosphere.”

Vibe Australia has been producing youth empowerment events such as this for over 10 years and one of its events, the Vibe 3on3, will celebrate 100 events in May.

Registration for Vibe Alive is still open. Travel and accommodation assistance is available for schools wanting to travel to Vibe Alive, and Vibe Town provides accommodation and catering for the duration of the event. More information is available at or by calling 1800 623 430.


To arrange an interview with or photo of Dr Chris Sarra, Rohanee Cox, Ernie Dingo or Naomi Wenitong, contact Vibe Australia’s media officer Jake Keane on (02) 9361 0140 or email


2 Responses

  1. Hi Chris, I know you recently visited North Stradbroke Island, I hope you enjoyed your stay. I thought perhaps it would of been a perfect opportunity for you to meet our students and Dunwich Secondary Department. I know the students would of loved to hear you speak.
    I live on North Stradbroke Island, I have completed my teaching degree at the end of ’09’ and I am impressed and inspired with everything you do in regards to education for Aboriginal students. My husband is Aboriginal and we have three grown children.
    Maybe when you head back this way to Minjerribah please stop in at the school. There are only a hand full of students there and the majority of them are Indigenous. I believe you are the part of the change needed in our school community.
    kind regards
    Tracy Ruska

  2. Hi Tracy.. Apologies for not having the time to stop by at the school. I promise I will get there sometime soon. Or alternatively I would love to skype in and chat to students through the computer. I love chatting to students in this way if time and distance gets in the way. Please ring my office and we will be glad to arrange something.

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