Indigenous Education Strategy - Issue 17

Tiara Wins For Telling It Like It Is

the ABC's Heywire storytelling competition for “telling it like it is” in her region.

Tiara was one of almost 700 entries that included a record number of Aboriginal winners, sharing stories of pride in culture, and overcoming challenges to find success.

Tiara’s story called “Leaving my remote community for boarding school” highlights the challenges many NT students’ face when transitioning from their remote community school to boarding school.

“I moved a very long way from home to attend boarding school at Worawa Aboriginal College, in Healesville, Victoria,” Tiara said.

“I remember getting out of the plane in Melbourne wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. I felt the cold breeze and started to shiver.

It was lonely at first because I didn't know anyone. And it was very different to home.

I’m lucky to have two places where I feel at home,” she said.

In February 2018, Tiara will attend the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra and you can listen to Tiara telling her story on the Heywire website.

Tiara’s Story

I come from Titjikala, a community in the Northern Territory, south of Alice Springs.

It's in the desert.  There are hills and not many trees. But I like it.

There are lots of dams, where my family love to go swimming and fishing.

But in 2015, I moved a very long way from home to attend boarding school at Worawa Aboriginal College, in Healesville, Victoria.

I remember getting out of the plane in Melbourne wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. I felt the cold breeze and started to shiver.

Tiara

I thought Worawa was going to be big and somewhere close to the city. But it took us an hour to get from the airport to Worawa — that's almost how long it takes us to drive from Titjikala to Alice Springs.

We got to the boarding house at night. And when I woke up the next morning I saw gum trees around me and not many houses, and I thought to myself that everything was going to be OK.

It was lonely at first because I didn't know anyone. And it was very different to home.

I missed my family, my country and my culture.

I'm the oldest of many sisters. They look up to me. So, it's hard being so far away, not being there to help them.

But I started getting used to Worawa, and living in the boarding houses. I made friends from all over Australia, who are always there for me when something is wrong.

I made a friend who ended up being my roommate. And she's become my best friend. She's from Western Australia.

Now when I go home to Titjikala in the holidays, I love seeing my sisters and the rest of my family.

I love the warmth and going swimming out in the dams.

But there's a part of me that misses the cold, my friends and green trees of Worawa.

I'm lucky to have two places where I feel at home.

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Last updated: 19 December 2017