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Stride Series - Most Significant Change Stories

Most Significant Change Story – Palm Island

Hi, my name is Sarah*. I am the second eldest of four children. I am of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island descent. I call Palm Island home. I enjoy all sports, being around my family, camping and fishing. My family and friends call me a tomboy. I am in year 5, and I hope to travel away to boarding school to complete year 12. My oldest sister is away at boarding school doing year 11, and I aspire to be like her as she is my role model. When I finish school, I want to be a police officer.


During my learning journey, I have received numerous attendance awards and gold medal awards from the Cathy Freeman Foundation. I do know that if I want to be a police officer that I must attend school daily to reach my goal. At the end of 2019, myself, my younger brother and another student received a special award for attending school every day. I have my parents to thank for that special award, as they have supported myself and my siblings in a good routine attending school.


I see the Cathy Freeman Foundation team at my school. They often visit my class to do workbooks, and I see them at parade. I enjoy going to school to learn new skills and seeing my friends and family at school. I have a huge family on Palm Island.

In term one my teacher announced to the class that I have been chosen to attend the year Horizon camp for 2020 out of six placements for year 5/6. I was overly excited and eager to attend. I could not wait to get home to tell my parents my good news from school.

I hadn't been to Brisbane before or been on a big plane for that matter. This would be my first big trip without my family. I was excited and nervous at the sad time.


A few weeks later my teacher had come to me with sad news the camp had been postponed due to COVID19. I didn’t really understand what was happening. My teacher had explained that it was a health and safety issue not only for myself but also my community.

My spirits went from a high to a low, but that did not stop me from going to school. This term again I have received yet another attendance award. The Cathy Freeman Foundation team have also given myself some cool items such as a hat and shirt. I wish I could of gotten to wear my new clothes in Brisbane, but I know it will happen soon.


*The name of this student has been changed due to privacy reasons.