During an inspiring ceremony attended by his proud family and Wunan staff recently, Justin Mosquito from Halls Creek became the first student from Wunan’s Kimberley Education Excellence Program (KEEP) to graduate Year 12.
Not only did Justin reach the milestone of completing Year 12, he stole the show – also winning the Outstanding Trade Student (Automotive) and the Hibberd Award for the student who has shown the greatest resilience and spirit in the face of significant challenge.
According to Wunan CEO Christian Zahra, when Justin entered KEEP in 2011 in Year 7, like many Indigenous students in the East Kimberley, he had extremely low levels of literacy and numeracy.
“Justin’s reading was assessed at Year 1 level and he was unable to tell the time or comprehend basic mathematics,” Mr Zahra said.
“Given how far behind he was when he began in the program, Justin’s successful completion of Year 12 represents a heroic effort on his part and is a very satisfying result for all of those dedicated people who have supported him in his journey.”
KEEP was developed in 2011 in response to very low school attendance rates and poor educational outcomes for Indigenous young people in the East Kimberley. It provides an opportunity for students from the region to receive a high-quality education, live in a stable and supportive environment, and have access to an exciting range of extra-curricular opportunities.
“Wunan congratulates Justin and we believe that his achievement will be the first of many success stories to emerge from this program – which aims to transform lives and communities through the power of education,” Mr Zahra said.
Justin will now go on to complete an Automotive Mechanic Apprenticeship in Sydney.