Hello, my name is Waynead Wolmby, I am 19 years old and I am from Aurukun. My people are the Wik and Kugu peoples.
I knew from a young age how important education was for my family and me. In 2013 I applied for the Cape York Partnership Scholarship program which I was successful. Wining the CYLP scholarship cemented my education at Ashgrove Marist College where I completed my schooling from year 8 to year 12. In 2019 CYLP introduced me to IYMP in Brisbane as I knew I wanted to further my education. I initially wanted to study Art, but I deferred my course when meeting with IYMP as they worked closely with me to develop a strong career pathway. It was during this time I realised I wanted to work and support my community which lead me to change my career pathway from Art’s to community services.
Coming down to Brisbane and meeting new people in the program was scary and made me nervous as I always been a shy person. When I moved into the IYMP accommodation, I thought I wouldn’t know no anyone. However, I was surprised when my friend Hank who I knew and was also on the Cape York Leaders Program was now on the IYMP project. This made me happy as it helped me integrate much easier into the IYMP.
Growing up in Aurukun, which is a remote Aboriginal Community, I was exposed to a lot of alcohol fuelled violence. I wanted to be a great example for my community and the younger generation, and I know if I stayed committed and focused on my education that I will achieve great things.
I am proud to say that I have successfully completed my Certificate 4 in Youth work, and last year, I also successfully completed my Certificate 3 and 4 in Community services and I can’t thank IYMP enough for all their support in helping me achieve these educational goals.
IYMP has been like a second family for me, not only have they supported me through my educational journey, but they have also given me real life skills, with cooking, cleaning, hygiene, obtaining my driver licence. They have also taught me how to live with others, support other young people on their educational journey’s and how to manage and navigate difficult decision-making skills. These skills have help develop me for the work force and real-life situations that I will be faced with in the future. It is through these skills I have more confidence and self-esteem. I hope to also share these skills back in my home community.
In IYMP journey I have learnt a lot about people and about where they come from. I was able to learn a lot from my other IYMP family members. We supported each other through personal experiences, through homesickness and learnt a lot about each other’s culture. The most enjoyable part about learning other cultures was the Torres Strait Islander language, song and dance and last year I was able to perform and participants in the end of year song and dance.
In early March COVID-19 entered the world and changed all our journeys. Due to safety reason I was sent back home to Aurukun. Even though it was a challenging time for everyone, I continued to stay focused on completing my certificate 4 in Youth work. It was not easy as, I didn’t always have access to the internet, phones, printers and computers. IYMP got in contact with Aurukun State school and brokered a deal where I was able to use their facilities to continue to complete my study’s. During this period, I was offered the position at the school as a teacher Aide part-time. I have had to overcome lots of changes as we all have had too during COVID however, what seemed to be bad luck come quiet the opposite. I was able to complete my Certificate, it was not easy, but I put in the hard work focussing on my goal to become a good role model in my community. In fact, since completing my courses, I have been offered many job roles in my community as I am now qualified. I am one of few Indigenous people qualified in my community which I am very proud of. Most of the jobs in my community are taken up by non-Indigenous people.
If it’s one thing IYMP has taught me, is that anything is possible, and I would strongly recommend any young people living in communities that want to further education and be role models for their people to join IYMP.