SWAN View students have scooped four scholarships to join an international leadership program at the University of Melbourne later this year.
The teenagers selected participate in the national mentoring initiative Follow the Dream, which has been offered to Aboriginal students at their school for the past 10 years.
Swan View Senior High School runs the education program in partnership with the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation named after the footballing great.
Year 9 Follow the Dream students Nakita Humes and Kawlija Brahim and Year 11 students Taya Woods and Tiahni Flakemore will join young leaders from around the world to be inspired through study.
The 11-stream program, which began in 2001, is open to students aged 14 to 17 and in more recent years has attracted students from Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore and Pakistan.
Of the 138 places awarded in the December intake, the Young Leaders program co-ordinator said 67 per cent were international students and 33 per cent domestic.
During the week-long course, the students will hone their leadership skills and consider future directions to achieve their dream careers.
Nakita and Kawlija will participate in personal development training in July and Taya will join a course in biomedicine, with the aim of becoming a midwife.
Tiahni is looking forward to studying fine arts in December, while continuing her interest in acting and performance.
Their teacher, Nicola Angell, said the students would live on campus, interact with Australian and international students and be involved in academic streams devised by university staff.
She said the Swan View students were outstanding ambassadors for the school.
“These four young women embody our school motto ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ and our entire school community is very proud of what they have achieved and excited for the opportunity that lies ahead for them,” she said.
To be considered for the leadership initiative, students wrote a personal statement and submitted a school report and reference to the foundation, which runs programs in school in 33 communities across Australia.
IN THEIR WORDS
“The Young Leaders program is an opportunity for me to explore career pathways and work with professionals from the creative and performing industries and like-minded students with similar aspirations. I am excited to visit Melbourne for the first time and be exposed to a big university campus and all it offers.”
“The opportunity to be part of an international program and learn alongside students from all over the world is a once in a lifetime experience. I’m interested as part of the biomedicine program to visit the anatomy museum at the university and investigate the rapidly changing areas of genetics and bioethics.
“I’m excited to travel to the eastern states for the first time and make friends with students from all over the world. I will be proud to share my indigenous culture and language with them and be an ambassador for Aboriginal Australia. I feel very lucky to be given this opportunity and it is made even more special that I get to share the experience with other Follow the Dream students from my school.”