The sky’s the limit for our Year 12 Graduates
“The bad news is … time flies. The good news is that you’re the pilot.”
For Moigida Loban, this quote shared by Churchie’s School Captain with his fellow prefects, cut through everything else that was said at their first leaders’ meeting earlier this year.
“It was so simple but so inspiring,” said Moi. “I spent the next two periods planning out my senior year – thinking about my grades, my sporting teams, what I wanted to achieve and what legacy I wanted to leave behind.
It also made me think about the past – all the ‘coulda, woulda, shouldas’ that I didn’t do, but also the legacy I’d already created – for me, my family and my community.”
Moi grew up on the tiny island of Badu – a bare dot in the vast blue patchwork of the Torres Strait Islands with a population of 700 people, 2,240 kilometres from Brisbane.
“I was the first child in my family to receive a Rosemary Bishop Yalari Scholarship to go to boarding school in Brisbane. When I first arrived at Churchie, it was hard because there were no other Torres Strait Islander boys. It was lonely at first, but after a week or two, I got to know the other boys and fit in pretty well.
I went on to be the first Torres Strait Islander, and only the second Indigenous student, appointed as Prefect at Churchie. And I transformed from a timid kid from Badu into a proud Badulgal, Maluilgal and Guda Maluigal man who is about to graduate from one of the most prestigious boys’ schools in Australia.”
Adding yet another outstanding achievement to that list, Moi shared his story at Yalari’s recent Graduation Lunch in Canberra as the 2022 Yalari Valedictorian. The celebration included his fellow Year 12 Yalari graduates, scholarship sponsors and members of the extended Yalari family.
“I couldn’t be prouder or more honoured to be named Valedictorian. I also could not be any more surprised and shocked to receive this award, considering the incredible group of graduates this year.”
Moi, whose scholarship was sponsored by The Deloitte Foundation, leads a cohort of 26 equally outstanding young men and women who will finish Year 12 this year and create a future only made possible because of the education, opportunities and experiences they have been exposed to at Australia’s highest quality boarding schools.
A number of them are heading to university to study medicine, science, economics, paramedics and nursing; others have secured apprenticeships and traineeships as childcare workers, electricians and diesel fitters.
Moi plans to ‘pilot’ his future towards studies in Marine Science with a focus on coral.
“Back at home where I go diving, you see a lot of coral bleaching. The fish and crayfish are also becoming more scarce. Dad’s a ranger up there so he’s really passionate about saving the reef and looking after the environment in the Torres Strait, and I want to be part of that.
It’s also really important for me to know who I am, where I’m from and what I speak. Even though I’ve spent the past six years in Brisbane, my culture is still everything to me – my knowledge, my identity, my history, my heritage.”
We are so proud of Moi and all of our 2022 Year 12 graduates.
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Yalari respects our Elders, past and present, and acknowledges that our office is on Kombumerri country within the lands of the Yugambeh language group