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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.

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The Cathy Freeman Foundation acknowledges and pays our respects to the past, present and emerging traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users are advised that this website may contain images and voices of people who have died.

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