Deadly Kids Awards
This year’s Deadly Kids Awards were held on August 2 at The University of Technology’s Great Hall. Kirrawee High was incredibly proud to be represented by our current Captain, Kirralee Smith and Year 11 students, Tegan Avery and Tameka Fitzgerald.
Kirralee Smith held the prestigious position of Keynote speaker as the Student’s Voice. She delivered a most incredible, motivating and inspiring speech about her journey throughout school. Kirralee reflected upon the importance of setting goals, believing in yourself and executing those dreams through hard work and determination. Kirralee also took time to pay homage to the of work and support of Mrs Falconer, whom she credits with being imperative to her success. To say that Kirralee’s speech was well received would be an absolute understatement, she was showered with compliments from people in the audience, from peers and elders, following the ceremony.
Tameka Fitzgerald who was one of only 24 dancers, selected from 210 who auditioned, performed as part of the Gili Dancers. Gili means to shine or spark in the Sydney Aboriginal Language. Tameka’s performance was nothing short of breath-taking.
Tegan Avery of Year 11 was awarded a much-deserved Recognition Certificate for her determined and outstanding work ethic. Tegan’s award was presented by Nathan Moran, CEO of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.
It was a truly special day and a very proud day for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Huge congratulations to all three Kirrawee High students who did an amazing job representing our school.
Please see below a copy of Kirralee’s address.
Today we gather on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. I would like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these places. I would also like to acknowledge all my indigenous and Non-Indigenous brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles that are here today.
My name is Kirralee Smith and I’m a proud Wonnarua woman. I’m a year 12 student and currently the first female Aboriginal school captain at my school, Kirrawee High.
About four years ago I was here getting my second Deadly and I was looking at the Year 12 MC’s and thinking how much I’d love to be doing that when my time came around, and to think now I’m here as the keynote speaker – blows my mind.
I look back on my time at school and I realise that I’ve gained so many skills and learnt many lessons that have shaped me and still are shaping me into the person I am. — Today I want to share some of my best advice to you, as you move through the years of school no matter what stage you’re at currently.
My first piece of advice to you is to never stop learning because life never stops teaching. I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to attend a very good primary and high school, Loftus Public and Kirrawee High, which have both allowed me to be apart of so many out of classroom experiences as well as building a great foundation for my learning. I’ve noticed that the learning you receive in the classroom and straight from the textbook are important but not quite as important as the lessons and skills you gain from being outside of a classroom environment. The experiences you have shape you and teach you things you sometimes would never have expected. Learning doesn’t just stop from the moment you finish school for the day and head home, or on a Friday afternoon as you head into the weekend or when you finally graduate and head into a much bigger world that will teach you even bigger things. Mistakes will be made along the way but you will always learn from it. Take every opportunity you get with both hands you never know what could happen, or what it could teach you.
Being an Indigenous leader is something I am extremely proud of, and being proud of who I am is something I’ve learn over the years. I recently attended the UNSW Winter School where I was fortunate enough to be involved in Associate Professor Ruben Bolt’s lecture about identity. This opened up the opportunity for me too critically think about my identity and think about who I am as a young indigenous person within society. For many of us finding our identity is a daunting experience and it can leave us uncertain, but our culture can play a major role in piecing together our identity.
As I said earlier I’m a very proud Wonnarua woman, and have grown up in a very enriching family that takes enormous pride in our Aboriginal background.
Some people will try and tell you who you are, don’t let them, they’re still trying find themselves too. Be proud of who you are, where you’ve come from, and the people who’ve come before you.
I’ve always set myself goals, and try everything I can to achieve them. At the start of year 7 I didn’t know anyone at my high school as I came from a smaller school. I remember walking into the office and seeing the board with all the previous school captains and setting myself a goal that one day my name will be there too. I worked every year towards the goal of one day being the school captain and now I have achieved that. If you have a dream, set a goal and start to achieve it. No dream comes without hard work, you have to be willing to put in the effort and be open minded to different possibilities that can come as you work towards that dream.
As my time at school comes to an end, I have to look into my future and where I want to be. I’ve had to try different things to find my passion. For me the sky’s the limit, and it literally is as I’ve found myself in the world of aviation. I’m in my second year of the Qantas Indigenous School Based Traineeship where I’m currently a customer service agent at Sydney Domestic Check in and hope to obtain further employment after this year, for hopefully many years to come. I also wish to move into tertiary education studying a double degree in Aviation Management and Commerce where I hope to further my knowledge of the industry to one day work for Qantas in a corporate position. It’s okay to not know what you want to do as long as you try new things and find something you enjoy, you’ll achieve great things.
My last piece of advice is to make sure you surround yourself with people who support you and have a positive impact on your life. I’m very fortunate to have found myself surrounded by incredible people in many different aspects of my life – most who are here today. I couldn’t thank enough all the people in my life who have supported me in many ways, from my friends and family, too work colleagues, to the many teachers, and of course to my mum, dad and sisters.
The support of one particular teacher, who is here today, has driven me to pursue my goals, Mrs Kath Falconer. Without her support over the last few years, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I can say without hesitation that spending a few hours with Kath you’ll understand how her passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has shaped me and many others to be proud young indigenous people.
Coming to events like the Deadly Kids also give me the opportunity to be surrounded by all of you incredible achievers who have endless potential to conquer your way to your own success. The support we give one another is some of the most important support we can offer and receive, for life.
This is a moment I’ll never forget, and I hope you never forget to take the opportunities inside and outside of the classroom, be proud of your Indigenous identity, set yourself goals, big or small and achieve them, find your passion and pursue it, and make sure you surround yourself with people who have every intention of pushing you to be your best.
Congratulations to all the 2019 Deadly Kids, I’m so proud and inspired by all of you. I’m extremely humbled to be able to speak to you all today and wish you all the best of luck for your future.