Growing up in a small town in Moree, NSW where there is little opportunity for higher education, 14 year old Isabella has just spent two weeks in one of the fastest growing technology countries in the world – Japan – funded by The Podmore Foundation and benefactors.
Isabella’s fascination with Japan all began in Year 7 at the Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS) after she was given a Yalari scholarship to a secondary education boarding school. Isabella, now in Year 9, can speak basic Japanese and is hoping that by the time she finishes school she will be able to speak it fluently.
“It is really good to be able to speak another language and being Indigenous I definitely wouldn’t have been given this opportunity to go to Japan if I was still in Moree”
The Podmore Foundation benefactors funded Isabella’s trip to Japan, knowing that Isabella had a passion for the Japanese language. Podmore’s benefactors also funds international travel for other scholarship recipients for sporting representation, academic specialisation and personal development on a case by case basis.
Isabella was one of thirteen girls and three teachers from CGGS to travel to Japan, where they visited numerous temples and experienced the country’s traditions and culture. As a result of her trip, Isabella has caught the travel bug and is hoping she can return to Japan again.
“I went for two weeks and it was amazing,” she says.
Isabella has said her mentors from the Podmore Foundation have been really helpful throughout her education at CGGS. They have become friends and role models to her supporting her schooling and her talent, and providing her with opportunities to attend social events on weekends and to interact in encouraging family environments. Isabella also shares a close bond with her mum who lives in Moree with her two younger sisters, one of whom has cerebral palsy. She admires both her sisters, and her mum, who has managed to raise three brilliant children on her own.
Isabella says, “My mum is my inspiration and role model and I want to make her proud.”
Podmore and CGGS have given Isabella the opportunity to grow as a young professional by helping her find her passion and to enabling her to pursue it. This includes her dreams of mastering the Japanese language and her aspirations to become a lawyer. She intends to use her education and experiences to contribute to instilling a fairer legal system and to represent disadvantaged people pro bono.
“Because where I come from there are people who make bad decisions,” Isabella says.
She enjoys the opportunity she has been given to study in Canberra and says the teachers are great and are willing to help you if you are unsure about any aspect of the subjects being taught.
Isabella, along with several other Indigenous girls with similar stories to tell, will be joining our team at City2Surf this year in Sydney. They are grateful for the opportunity Podmore, Yalari and CGGS has given them to achieve their dreams. More information on how to join us in City2Surf this year is on our website. If you would also like to join us as a volunteer to mentor girls just like Isabella please contact our director of mentoring Narelle Sargent on 0407 829 433 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamara Shaw, Director, Communications and Public Relations