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28 February 2024

Isaiah is on a pathway to leadership

“My nan said to me: ‘You can only make one big decision in your life and that’s to go and do something with it.’” 

Isaiah at home in Goondiwindi

He also had older cousins who went to boarding school in Brisbane before him and gave him advice that cemented his desire to take a Yalari scholarship and head to Churchie. 

“They told me that it was the best opportunity and so much better than their local high school. That made me realise that if I do get the scholarship, it can lead me onto a path for a better future.” 

Isaiah had to make his own decision for wanting to go to boarding school, and he sums up his reasons succinctly:

“Better education, more opportunities for sport and making new friends.”  

But by his own admission, he found the first year of boarding school ‘pretty tough.’ 

His hometown of Goondiwindi sits about 4 hours west of Churchie in Brisbane – too far to be able to head home during the school term – and he, like many new students at boarding schools across the country, struggled with homesickness.  

“On the first night I called my mum, and she told me that it was going to be hard, but I just had to push through it. In the end, after a bit of hard work, it gets easier.” 

Now in his second year at Churchie, Isaiah has built on his experiences in Year 7 and feels better prepared to succeed. 

“Last year I was struggling with schoolwork a bit but getting through a year in boarding, it’s shown me that I can do it and I go to prep every night now thinking I’m not going to fail.” 

He’s now set to look to his future – both for the rest of his time at school as well as beyond. Earlier this year, Isaiah attended his second Orientation Camp and began to see his potential as a leader. 

“It felt good to be able to show someone instead of someone showing me what to do. We have two new boys that started at Churchie this year, so it was good to meet them before they started school.”  

And the presence of senior student leaders and alumni at camp gave Isaiah inspiration as well. 

“I looked at Tristan (one of the Senior Leaders at Orientation Camp) and he was helping Kai (one of the new Year 7 Churchie boys) throughout the camp, and I said to myself, I want to be that person.”  

And after school, Isaiah’s already got a bit of an idea of where he wants to head. A sports lover, Isaiah plays cricket and rugby at school as well as playing rugby league outside of school.  

“I want to be a footy player or physiotherapist when I finish school. One of my favourite subjects at school is science and this term we’re learning about muscles, nerves and pressure points which I love.” 

Isaiah’s scholarship is proudly supported by Hamish and Mary McIntyre.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Yalari respects our Elders, past and present, and acknowledges that our office is on Kombumerri country within the lands of the Yugambeh language group.