Vanessa's passion shines

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Griffith High School year 11 student Vanessa Myers is determined to inspire other local Indigenous students. Picture: Anthony Stipo.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE: Griffith High School year 11 student Vanessa Myers is determined to inspire other local Indigenous students. Picture: Anthony Stipo.

WHEN Vanessa Myers says she "will" be a lawyer one day, you get the feeling she means business.

The year 11 Griffith High School student was selected to take part in the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy (NIYLA).

In May, NIYLA held their Many Voices, One Future national gathering in Sydney, which brought together 50 Indigenous young people from communities across Australia to lead positive change through national campaigns on issues they are passionate about.

Vanessa's passion is education and the need for Indigenous students to believe in themselves.

"There isn't enough encouragement or positive thinking around education within the Indigenous community," she said.

"The issue needs to be changed from within.

"It can't be addressed externally. A lot of the time I think we hold ourselves back and don't recognise our own potential."

Miss Myers said the time she spent in Sydney with other Indigenous students from right across Australia had only reinforced her desire to make a difference.

While at the Many Voices, One Future gathering the 16-year-old worked on an awareness campaign, which included filming a YouTube video and launching a Facebook page ATI Project: Aspire to Inspire.

Over the next eight weeks she will work to create change by promoting the video and page.

"It was an amazing experience," she said.

"It has changed my whole view. It is amazing what a week away can do. It was a real cultural experience for me too.

"We got to weave baskets. We went out and cut the plants, stripped them and used traditional methods of weaving to make them.

"It hit home to me that we have missed out on a lot of our culture.

"I want to start changing perceptions and create positive aspirations.

"All we want is Indigenous children to focus on their education and change how they think and realise that education is what will take them places.

"Our aim is to get them to see that there is nothing they can't do if they work hard."

Miss Myers has also been accepted into the UNSW Indigenous winter school for law, which will be held in the school holidays.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop