HOME STRETCH: Former foster child rewarded for passion to educate

Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk with Community Spirit Award winner Eva Muilenburg
Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk with Community Spirit Award winner Eva Muilenburg

FORMER foster child Eva Muilenburg is on a mission to instil self confidence in to children in State care via education.

The 23-year-old University of Notre Dame education student said young people in care needed to be acknowledged, even for their small achievements, because many faced significant hurdles.

“A lot of kids in care don’t have that sense of accomplishment or drive so they don’t want to continue going to school,” Miss Muilenburg said.

“I want to help kids who are facing hurdles.”

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Miss Muilenburg, who was in State care from Year 9 until she was 18, received a University Achiever Award ($4000) and the Community Spirit Award ($1000) at the annual Achievers Awards last month.

The aspiring Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) teacher is about to embark on 10 weeks of prac and said the money would help her and her husband pay the mortgage and bills during that time when she couldn’t work.

Miss Muilenburg was among 46 young people aged 15-25 from State care who received University, Apprenticeship or Traineeship and Achiever awards for their hard work and determination in pursuing their career goals.

Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk said the winners showed inspirational commitment to tertiary education and training, despite obstacles they may have faced.

“The dedication and hard work they have displayed will make a big difference to the career opportunities that lie ahead for them and I applaud them for their efforts,” Ms McGurk said.

Community News is supporting Home Stretch, a national campaign urging all state governments to change legislation to support them until they are 21.

Here’s how YOU can help:

1. Join the Home Stretch campaign at: thehomestretch.org.au

2. Sign up to be a foster carer at: www.dcp.wa.gov.au