I have had an interesting background for an MLC student. Aboriginal, adopted and brought up in a white, conservative, political family.
After leaving school I wanted a music career but spent three years in the public service, a short stint in the mines, followed by a job at the Aboriginal Education Branch.
A position at Celebrate WA rekindled my music passion. I was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and am completing a degree in musical composition.
I regularly sing at both major and corporate events.
In 2000 I sung the national anthem at the reconciliation ceremony. The ceremony had a lot of meaning to me that has become deeper with each passing year.
Music has taken me overseas to perform. One of the highlights was an impromptu jam session with jazz great Don Burrows at the Australian Embassy in Mexico.
My greatest personal achievement has been learning to embrace the challenges that I have faced and using them, and the overcoming of them, to inspire others and myself.
When I met my birth mother at the age of 23 I was not surprised that she described her life as being “neither here nor there”, i.e., in between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal culture.
I would like to think that I am a good example of what can be achieved by Aboriginal people with strong support and I appreciate many do not have this support.
I want to help instil in Aboriginal people (and others) a “can do” attitude, to lift them out of what are often very broken situations.
MLC provided me with some good assistance as an Aboriginal student but I had not begun to explore my Aboriginality at that time. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realised how useful that assistance would have been.
My strong dream is to share my experiences as a teacher in a school giving hope to those who may be struggling.
I loved the sports carnivals, the performing arts classes and festivals, the music, the friendships, water fights at lunchtime, games and the camps.