Never mind the results, we have winners

The story on page 2 of today’s Narooma News should not be underestimated.

Narooma High School is again proud to have a group of Indigenous students graduating this year.

Regardless of the students’ results in the current Higher School Certificate examinations, these four are already winners and so is our community.

The Eurobodalla, historically, has low school retention rates for both the wider community and the Indigenous community.

These figures are improving, but much remains to be done, especially in the Indigenous community, where a worrying gap still exists for health outcomes and life expectancy.

Narooma High School is doing a lot to help on the education front and is a champion for its students.

The stakes are very high.

No matter what your background, when you are the first member of your extended family to finish high school, you are in a position to effect generational change.

When you are the first member of your family to complete tertiary education, you can change the world.

When Indigenous people in larger numbers take up places as teachers, nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, welfare workers, academics – indeed, whatever field they dream of working in – they are creating a critical mass that will change outcomes for the next generation.

They can deliver education and health to their communities in ways that will resonate – and therefore be much more effective.

The quote from Narooma High School principal Tony Fahey says it all.

“Research has shown that for every year students stay in the school, they can add a few years onto their life expectancy, so the benefits of staying in school and completing Year 12 has real benefits for all our young people,” Mr Fahey said. 

The school’s Aboriginal education officer Cherrie Sandford has some great programs going and should be congratulated. The Narooma News wishes all students the best of the luck during the exams and in the future.

Congratulations to Narooma-based plumber Bob Sheridan-Gimmel, 22, who won gold at 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition and to Kokoda track walker Pen Potter and the Narooma Sporting and Services Club and the Narooma Lions Club, which helped him get there.