Wondering where we’ll find our future leaders? Look no further than these four fine young women.
Shania Cole-Presley, Jasmine John, Maddison Diamond and Urshula Jacky-Clark are this year’s NAIDOC Be the Change winners — and what deserving winners they are, too.
It would be easy to list their academic and sporting achievements, although there are almost too many to mention. The work the Year 12 students put in at school is a very important part of the judging criteria for this prestigious award, given to the most outstanding student in the States and Territory in which Girls Academy operates.
But what stands out even more than all the accolades these ambassadors have amassed over the years is their strength of character — the admirable way they conduct themselves and the examples they set for others. They truly live up to Girls Academy’s core values: Connection, Empowerment, Leadership, Resilience and Respect.
Shania, who would like to become a police officer, graduated Year 12 early because of credits she earned doing the police cadet program but returns to Centralian Girls Academy to help out whenever asked. ”She has a beautiful way of supporting other students to feel more valued and engaged with the school and Girls Academy.”
Maddison, who wants to be a nurse, contributes to the wellbeing of her community, as well as Urangan Girls Academy. “Maddison is a caring and supportive friend who is always encouraging others to do the right thing … she supports behind the scenes, never looking for praise or recognition.”
Urshula, who plans to study health at university, has overcome health issues of her own to make her mark at Kemspey Girls Academy. “She has an admirable work ethic, shows concern for the welfare of others, takes leadership roles and makes valuable contributions to the Girls Academy, school and community.”
Jasmine, who wants to study physiotherapy at university, is an inspirational member of Broome Girls Academy, juggling part-time work with study, sport and considerable artistic prowess. “She has enriched the lives of all those around her, and it has been an absolute pleasure seeing her become the strong, independent, kind and positive young lady she is today.”
We know this year has been tough for our Year 12 students, who have missed out on many of the milestones we took for granted. The way they have persevered through this crisis is a credit to each and every student at Girls Academy. And it makes the achievements of our four NAIDOC winners even more noteworthy.
Former US president John Quincy Adams said: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Shania, Jasmine, Maddison and Urshula more than measure up to this high bar. They have led by example every day. We are so very proud they are part of the Girls Academy family and we wish them the very best for the years ahead.