"I am a Gimuy-Waluburra Yindinji from Cairns, QLD. My father is a professional Aboriginal dancer and cultural educator but after moving to Perth with my mother, I lost connection with my Aboriginal family/heritage. It's safe to say that my school and social life struggled.
During my years at school, I had friends who weren't welcoming of Indigenous people so I strayed away from who I was in fear of being ridiculed, bullied and stereotyped. I spent my entire school life living like this.
On my 21st birthday, this is where everything changed and the path to a more confident and shameless future had its first brick laid.
My Nanna Tess (on my Dad's side) called me and unleashed a whole world of identity and culture, a world I was missing and thankfully, one that I'm now a part of.
Ever since my Nanna Tess made that phone call, I now take initiative to learn about my culture and the stories of my people, it's something I embrace and no longer shy away from.
Learning about my Aboriginality and developing a strong personal foundation gave me the confidence to go chase my dream of helping others. I want to make genuine human connections and give to people what I didn't have so that kids don't suffer the way I did.
I want to continue to end inequality through education and I will be there every step of the way."
Shannae Pattrick, Perth WA.