“Education unlocks doors I once thought closed to me and my family”
I am a proud mother to four children. Two are currently completing their secondary education thanks to the support of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) and its community of donors.
My family and I live on remote Mer Island in the Torres Strait where access to education is limited. We only have one primary school within our community and no high school. When children complete their primary education, they need to go to the mainland to continue their education.
Over the years I have noticed that our community’s desire for education has been fading and last year there were only 12 students who graduated from our primary school. There is a lack of visibility and role modelling for what education can do for a child’s future – they don’t get to see what’s possible.
I educate my children because I want them to have choices . I don’t want them to have just one key, I want them to have multiple keys to open multiple doors.
Education is about nurturing the passions of the younger generation and creating meaningful career pathways for them and encouraging them to become independent.
After losing my father when I was in Grade 3, I took on the responsibility of assisting my mother, who had a limited education and could not read. Despite everything, my mother always instilled in me the profound importance of education.
This is why I am so motivated to pass this value down to my children and why I actively seek out opportunities for them to undertake further studies.
It used to be unfathomable to think that my sons could attend and walk through the corridors of a big-city boarding school. However, after discovering AIEF and the support that they provide, I realised nothing was impossible. AIEF makes hope happen.
I have always fostered my children’s passions but wanted them to dream big and want more for themselves.
After starting their studies at boarding school my eldest son has gone from wanting to be a fisherman, to then a marine biologist and just recently he told me he thinks he could be the first Indigenous Prime Minister.
I know that his dream is becoming real. Doors that were once firmly shut for us have become more accessible.
I think back to when my sons were babies and how hard life has been – in our communities we often don’t have the ability to shield our children from the harsh realities of life, and yet they persevere and are resilient.
I am inspired by how, despite everything, they are growing up to be smart, caring and kind young men who are already thinking of ways to give back. They shared that one day, when they have secured jobs, they not only want to give our family a good life but also help give other children in remote Indigenous Australia the same life-changing opportunities they received.
I want the AIEF donor community to understand that by supporting AIEF, you are not just investing in a cause – it is so much more than that.
You are changing the course of an Indigenous child’s life and making hope happen. You are empowering families and helping to break the cycle of limited opportunities and resources that previous generations of Indigenous families may have been constrained by.
I am so grateful that donors see my kids as worthy of investment and you truly have my heartfelt thanks. You are giving families the means and hope to overcome the limitations imposed by their circumstances.
Thank you for helping create a brighter future for Indigenous children – for my children.