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Shontae wants to help rural Indigenous communities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students often face greater barriers to education1. Read this Q&A telling how sponsorship is helping Shontae to stay in school and build big aspirations.

How did you come to be sponsored?

“The Smith Family started helping me when I was in Year 7 at school. We had some financial difficulties at home.

“It was rough. I was struggling a bit and three days before Christmas our house burnt down. It was embarrassing coming back to school because I had no school uniform. I had to borrow one.”


How does sponsorship help you with your education?

“My sponsors help me with buying school things. We have also been given a laptop and internet access by The Smith Family, which has really helped with homework.

“I am now in Year 10 and I really love going to school. I haven’t missed a day for two years now.”

What are your goals for the future?

“I’m hoping to study medicine at university and work in rural communities. I think I would like to be a paediatrician.

“My mum passed away when I was five years old and my dad suffered brain damage in a car crash, so health and medicine are really important to me.

“When I leave school, I want to help close the medical health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. I volunteered in a rural community during the school holidays helping children, and I really fell in love with the people. I want to give something back to the community.”

1. Commonwealth of Australia, Dept of PM&C (2018) Closing the gap, Prime Minister’s report, 2018.

Read more student and family stories in our Spring 2019 edition of Real People Real Stories.

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