Hi, my name is Selena Jade Brown. I am Indigenous Woman from Cairns QLD, who is currently residing in Darwin NT Australia with the support of IYMP. I was born in Cairns and I am of British and Aboriginal descent. My father’s family originate from the Durrabullim Bunda Tribe in Bundaberg QLD and Yarrabah, QLD. My mother’s family originate from England.
I am the oldest of three siblings. I am also hearing impaired. I am profoundly deaf in my left ear and in my right I am mild to severely deaf and I wear a hearing aid. When my baby sister was born it lead me into thinking of who I wanted to be when I got older. From the moment she was born, I fell in love with babies and how they came to be, and from the age of 12, I knew that I wanted to be a nurse with midwifery qualifications. I then finished high school, graduating from Trinity Bay State High School and proceeded to try and further my career in nursing by studying the bridging program at Charles Darwin University. But it was not quite the right time for me to study nursing.
After exploring other options for a while, I decided to apply for the Bachelor of Nursing, Pre-Registration, at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in Batchelor NT. At this time I heard about the IYMP program through my family and decided to apply, as it would allow me to learn to be independent but still be near family. In May 2011, I officially became a participant of the program and I still love it. They were flexible with my schedule and have helped me whenever I have needed it. While I am, maybe the first of my style, a 21 year old bisexual hearing impaired woman, it hasn’t stopped IYMP from supporting me in ways which I continually benefit from.
It’s terrific how the IYMP staff have adapted their style of support to reflect my individual requirements because of my disability and personality.
Later in 2011, my path took a slight detour, and I was accepted to be a contestant on the reality TV show ‘The Biggest Loser’. IYMP were supportive and held my place while I was away being on the show. They supported me by watching the series and cheering me on. When my time on ‘The Biggest Loser’ was over, IYMP welcomed me back and I returned to my studies and continued on with my IYMP journey. They also supported the healthy eating lifestyle that I had adopted and I was extremely grateful for that.
Throughout my IYMP journey I have made many friends, and my fellow participants on the program are fun loving, caring and absolutely wonderful to hang around with. Like any family, my IYMP family and I sometimes don’t always see eye-to-eye, but really, it is just like living in a house with a lot of loud and crazy brothers and sisters.
I have been with the IYMP program for a little over two years now; I have grown a lot, and found a career goal focus that had been previously missing. And while I may sometimes act a little immature, I have definitely learnt to be more independent, to cook well, maintain a clean a house, and take personal responsibility for my day to day life.
My goal of being able to study being a nurse would not have happened without IYMP support, and while I still have more study, I know I will get there with IYMP’s help. It is up to me to take this journey, but I’m glad to have the support of the program to encourage me along the way.
I am looking forward to continuing my IYMP journey, and I’m very grateful to the IYMP staff and to my IYMP brothers and sisters. Without all of them I would be lost, they brighten my day, support me, and take no crap from me and tell me how it really is whenever I need to hear that… Just like a real family should. Thanks IYMP!!!!