Kia and dad on Rapa Nui
When did you graduate from Shearwater and what did you do after?
I graduated from Sally Davison and Sandra Bain’s year 12 class in 2007. After a period of time wishing every day I could have gone back to school again, I started a BA at Southern Cross uni in Lismore, majoring in Writing and Music (the latter to later change to Indigenous Studies). While continuing my degree, I have kept travelling and exploring the world which has included having the life changing experience of reuniting with my father and his family in Easter Island. After setting off on a spontaneous adventure with my mother to the Pacific Arts Festival in American Samoa in 2008, the immersion in Polynesian culture consequently compelled me to return to Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in 2009. I spent two months beginning to get to know and learn about my Rapa Nui family and culture, dancing in the traditional Tapati festival (seen in photo) and so too began my struggle to learn Spanish (as none of my family speaks English!). Since then, I returned again in summer of 2010 for three months, spent four and half months back in Australia saving, and went back again in August until April this year. Following these eight wonderful months in the umbilical of the world, I feel I have grown and learnt a lot and certainly now hold two homes in my heart.
How do you look back at your time here. What is a memory that stands out?
When I think of Shearwater and all the experiences I was so blessed to have had there, I feel a huge sense of ‘homeliness’ and comfort. As can be testified by the return of many ex-students, Shearwater seems to draw these same sentiments from many who graduate from here. No matter how far I go, as soon as I have my two feet on Australian earth, I find they walk me straight back to this little haven of warmth. Amid an abundance of great memories including those of incredible class camps to the NT, China, North West and Evan’s Head, I have one particular memory that confirmed my absolute love for this school: as I finished morning tea one day, I recall so clearly the feeling of complete joy to watch as the kindy teacher lead her little ones to the library. They followed behind her singing a gentle song as they linked hands and smiled broadly. This image always sticks so strongly in my mind as an example of the nurturing and love that is given at this school.
Are you still in touch with former class mates or teachers?
I count myself very blessed to have had the amazing class I did, with each of these twenty plus individuals each holding a little part of my heart. They truly are like family to me and we continue to this day to have just as strong if not a stronger connection. Whenever any of us are in the same area we are inseparable! As for the teachers, my love and respect for each of these people never ceases and I feel so lucky to know that whenever possible a cup of coffee or a dinner party is never out of the question!
What is it that you are currently pursuing in your life?
My most current pursuit is to prepare financially and musically for a year-long Australia/overseas trip I will be doing with the singing group Wayfarers, next year. We will be performing through most of the major cities of Australia before heading over to China, Tran Siberia to Russia, exploring northern Europe, Germany, Italy, the UK and finally India, returning in early November. I hope after this to return to Rapa Nui and build my house over there. Somewhere in there I will also complete my BA, further complete a DipEd and hopefully then begin my Diploma in Advance Steiner Education in order to fulfill my goal to be a primary Steiner teacher. I dream also to one day start up a Steiner school in Rapa Nui where I can, with any luck, give back to the world even just a portion of the joy Shearwater has given me