Jayarni was the only young Aboriginal woman in her year at school to finish Year 12. Despite feeling alone and wanting to drop out, her family rallied around her and encouraged her to complete her studies.

Today, she is a School Transition Officer with Mission Australia in Kempsey, where she helps young Aboriginal people transition successfully from primary school to high school.

Jayarni started in the role nearly a year ago and loves being able to inspire and support children in her community to stay in school and dream big, just as her family did with her.

The schools, parents and carers absolutely love the school transition program and how it supports their children in every way possible to successfully transition into high school.

I love working with the Aboriginal children in my community, being a great role model, mentoring and providing positive advice for them to enjoy their journey through school and have a positive and successful future. Jayarni

But before she came to Mission Australia, Jayarni had her own journey of growth. She started her career doing an administration traineeship with Booroongen Djugun College where she learned how to operate office equipment and deliver a professional service to customers. There she assisted Aboriginal people with enrolling and completing qualifications through onsite, outreach and distance education.

After a couple more career changes, becoming a mum to a now 6-year-old boy and working for some time in Early Learning, Jayarni went back to college to undertake additional training and gain new skills. After that, she began her current role at Mission Australia.

“During the past nine months I have learned so much working with Mission Australia. Our staff are so kind, caring and excellent people to work with.

“I deliver weekly educational, cultural and fun workshop activities to the Aboriginal year six students at four allocated primary schools in Kempsey, with assistance from professional community organisations and elders. The educational sessions will prepare the students for a successful transition into high school. When the students commence high school, I provide weekly student support to ensure the students have settled into the new environment and have no issues or concerns.”

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