The 17-year-old from Innaloo honoured her single-parent mother when she received the award, which was for her winning essay on leadership and community service.
Karri’s speech focused on her mum’s influence in her life, as a single parent who raised her while also fostering children from disadvantaged backgrounds, running Balinese charity Friends of Hope Australia and studying for a master’s in sociology.
‘Mum and I are really, really tight, single-parent/single-child households usually are but she’s my best friend, mother and teacher all in one,’ Karri said.
‘There isn’t anything I can’t speak to her about, and even if we occasionally have philosophical differences, it’s all in good fun and I love her very much.’
Karri and her mother foster kids on a respite basis, taking them for a weekend from full-time foster families, and assist the Bali Hope Orphanage through their charity work.
‘My advice would be to give everything you have spare to everything and anything you’re passionate about, because more often than not your efforts are returned to you two-fold, and it’s been my experience that it’s a lot of fun on the journey,’ she said.