I grew up up on a remote station near Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria. As there weren’t many education options, I was home-schooled with my three younger siblings through the Katherine School of the Air. When I was 11, I went to Darwin and continued my education as a boarding student at Kormilda College.
This was the first time I was surrounded by a classroom full of students, the first time I had ever been away from my family, and the first time I wouldn’t have mum or dad there to help me. The first few months were scary and it took time to get used to.
There are people you meet in your life, especially in high school, that have a huge impact on the adult you will grow up to be. There are those who don’t have dreams and ambitions and make you feel like you don’t need any either. And then there are those who ground you and make you feel like you do have a purpose.
Some of my classmates took their education for granted, they weren’t prepared to try too hard, and let others stand in the way of what could have been a bright future for them.
I was lucky that I found true friends, people who helped each other up instead of knocking each other down and laughing about it. Those people were always by my side and I could count on them no matter what. They are still by my side today doing great and wonderful things with their lives and careers.
At 16 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I considered joining the army or navy because I couldn’t see that I had a world of other options. That was until a guest speaker from Bond University came and gave a presentation to our Year 12 classes about enrolment opportunities for 2012.
The visit left me thinking and wondering what it would be like to go to university. I ended up applying and never expected to get the news that I had been accepted and that I would be moving to the Gold Coast soon after!
I was nervous and excited and also worried about not being able to fit in with the standards and that the other students would be too good for me to hang out with. But I was wrong. Everyone I met was helpful and friendly, my classes were great and lecturers were outstanding.
I wouldn’t have been able to ease into this new lifestyle without the help of Narelle and Jason at Bond University’s Nyombil Centre. They both do such a great job in welcoming Indigenous students and making them feel comfortable with someone to talk to for extra emotional support.
My Bond University experience is one that I will cherish and be proud of for the rest of my life. I graduated with a Degree in International Hotel and Resort Management, which filled me with an overwhelming sense of both relief and accomplishment.
I hope I can inspire others to take a chance, believe that you can do more than what you think you can, push your boundaries and don’t let anything hold you back.
It’s your future and your choices – no one has more control over your life than you do!