In February Maryanne and Jay, CREATE Young Consultants from Northern Queensland, spoke at the National Indigenous Youth Empowerment Summit in Cairns. Maryanne and Jay did a fantastic job presenting their experiences of transitioning from care to adulthood and stressed the importance of cultural connection throughout this process.
We recently interviewed Maryanne for our clubCREATE magazines, finding out about her work with CREATE, her motivation for helping improve the care system, and her message for other children and young people with a care experience.
Tell us a bit yourself
Hey my name is Maryanne, I am 18. I was born and raised in Ingham, Queensland. I also have a two year old son. My favourite colour is purple and some of my favourite activities are going to the beach for long walks with my son, playing Sims when my son is having a nap, and going shopping. I am currently going to TAFE, studying Certificate III in Child Care. I’ve got my own car and my own house and I live in Townsville at the moment.
I have Aboriginal heritage, the Aboriginal side of family come from Mareeba and Atherton. I am planning to find out more about my culture as I get older.
Tell us about some of the stuff you have done as a CREATE Young Consultant?
I went to Cairns for Speak Up training, I have completed Levels 1,2,3 of SUP. I have gone to Cairns and presented as Young Consultant at the Indigenous Youth Leadership Summit. It was awesome! It was good because I got experience in public speaking, I was very shy and didn’t want to come out of my shell before that but from doing the presentation I got more confidence, I learnt how to manage the pressure I felt from being around lots of people – how to speak up and have my voice heard. It was awesome to work on the presentation with Donna from CREATE, we did it together and she was a great support.
I have been to social gatherings, Youth Advisory Groups (YAGs) and I help out when I can. I plan to do lots more!
What motivates you to do the work you do representing children and young people in care with CREATE?
Definitely my son – I want to have the best possible future for him. I want to be a good role model and get somewhere with my life. My son is the biggest motivation I have in life, and wanting to make my family proud.
What do you think is a big issue for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care?
People don’t listen to what they say and they are judged on the basis of their skin – racism. Their words don’t get heard enough and the younger ones experience prejudice based on who their parents are, not who they are.
What is your message to all the children and young people who read the CREATE mag?
Don’t stop striving to become the person you want to be and to do what you want to do. If you want to do something with your life – go for it! Never give up and have trust and faith in yourself! Don’t listen to other people’s negativity.
Do you know a young person in care achieving amazing things?
Help CREATE snap that stigma and share a positive story over social media, just hashtag #snapthatstigma or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To read about more of our inspiring clubCREATE, click the link below: