Australian History

FEATURED AUSTRALIA: Cuzmobile first fictional Aboriginal superhero will be making a comeback next year ABC reports

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#AceNewsDesk – The cuzmobile fictional Aboriginal superhero’s car to be restored by Alice Springs students

A man sits inside an old Valiant car painted in black, red and yellow.
Cuz Congress and his cuzmobile were the brainchild of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress in the 1980s.(Supplied: Congress Arrulenye)none

The car of Australia’s first fictional Aboriginal superhero will be making a comeback next year, if these trainee mechanics have their way.

Superhero Cuz Congress first came to life in the 1980s to spread the word on resilience and hope through Central Australia.

His car, the cuzmobile — a 1960s Valiant — is currently an empty shell.

But student mechanics are working in Alice Springs to revive it to its former glory in time for the Red Centre Nats festival next year.

Borroloola resident Tenace Mulholland, 15, is among them.

He is part of the vocational stream at Yirara College’s Clontarf program, which works to improve the educational outcomes for young Indigenous men.

The program has been offered at Yirara College since 2007, and is run by Charles Darwin University.

Tenace, who loves driving 75 series LandCruisers, has been in the automotive course for two years.

“It’s good fun,” he says.

“I learned how to pull a motor apart and hopefully reassemble it [back] together.

“[It’s] very important for my future.”

Cuz Congress ethos lives on

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress chief executive Donna Ah Chee says the Yirara students are living proof of the superhero’s ethos.

“Seeing the young people at Yirara so keen to learn and work on his car is just great,” she says.

“Cuz promotes ‘good health, good life, and the Aboriginal way’, and this project couldn’t be more on point.”

Ms Ah Chee says Cuz Congress has been a long-time favourite in Central Australia.

“The nostalgia is strong for those of us who knew about him back then, and kids who hear about him now, well you see their eyes light up as they look upon this strong Aboriginal superhero,” she says.

Strong connection

Charles Darwin University automotive lecturer Shane Gaghan says the Cuz Congress S Series Valiant is special to the town.

“It’s quite famous from a couple of documentaries and shows … it means a lot to us here at the CDU,” he says.

Mr Gaghan says the participants are learning hands-on skills that will not only teach them a trade but will help them maintain their own vehicles as well.Lecturer Shane Gaghan (centre) works with Yirara students.(Alice Springs: Emma Haskin)none

“They will come away with a Certificate I or II [which will] give them the core safety units to be able to operate in any workshop,” he says.

“When you work on a business site you’ll get a white card.

“This is their white cards for the automotive program.”

He says the training is vital if the town wants to have local people doing local jobs.

“These are foundation skills for these guys to build on for the future,” he says.


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