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Ninety years strong: TSRA joins milestone birthday celebrations for David Sebasio

David Sebasio Birthday
David Sebasio 90 years birthday celebrations. Photo Credit: Aldene Reuben
David Sebasio
David Sebasio 90 years. Photo Credit: Aldene Reuben

TSRA representatives joined the party to celebrate Mr David “Debetu” Sebasio’s 90th birthday and his many decades of service to our communities and region.

Surrounded by family and friends, it was a moment to honour not just the years he has lived, but the legacy he has built.

His marriage to wife Bakari and care for their children, followed by generations of grandchildren to great-great-grandchildren stand as testament to a life lived with purpose, love and unwavering devotion.

Thank you to families and the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) community for hosting the beautiful event in Bamaga on Friday 31 May.

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM attended the milestone celebration and said Mr Sebasio’s legacy continued to burn brightly.

“Brother David is one of the last government carpenters skilled in building housing for the Torres Strait,” Mr Stephen said.

“In the 60s and 70s, the Bamaga timber mill was a thriving hub to build houses across the Torres Strait and supported carpenters, painters, plumbers and trades from all communities.

“For many young people, it provided an opportunity to move from the trochus and pearl industry into carpentry and construction with a trade for life.

“Through the 70s and 80s, this regional construction industry set the scene for self-determination through building local homes, schools and medical aid posts.

“Efforts by community leaders such as brother David act as a lighthouse and living examples of excellence for all of us to put into practice,” he said.

TSRA Acting CEO Charlie Kaddy said the respected community Elder continued to inspire.

“I was only young, but I still remember Uncle David building my mum and dad’s house in Tamwoy town,” Mr Kaddy said.

Here’s to David “Debetu” Sebasio – a carpenter by trade, patriarch by heart and beacon of love for all who know him.

The 2024 NAIDOC Week theme is Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud.

Learn more about the TSRA at www.tsra.gov.au or on Facebook.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.