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Trailblazing judge inspires WestMAC First Nations students to daydream big


Australia’s first Aboriginal Supreme Court judge has inspired West Moreton Anglican College First Nations students in a recent landmark speech

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Australia’s first Aboriginal Supreme Court judge has inspired West Moreton Anglican College First Nations students in a recent landmark speech.

Warramunga man Justice Lincoln Crowley spoke with the students about their futures, encouraging them to daydream big.

West Moreton Anglican College (WestMAC) Indigenous perspectives learning innovator Phyllis Marsh, a MaMu woman from the Mundubarra people, said Justice Crowley’s visit encouraged the students to be visionary and ambitious.

“The visit of Justice Crowley is part of what I call ‘The Conversation Series’, which we launched with his visit,” Ms Marsh said.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for our First Nations students to speak with and hear from a First Nations leader who followed a vision and pursued individual excellence.

“The highlight for me was the conversation around becoming inspired about who you can become – Justice Crowley shared that he daydreamed about who he saw himself to be as an adult.

“Becoming inspired through hearing personal stories brings connection – hearing this from a First Nations leader allows presence through a representation of sameness.

“Transformation of self takes courage, creating a vision for yourself, and connecting to people who inspire, whether that is through reading about them, seeing them on television, or sitting with them in a conversation – these are all opportunities from which we can learn.”

The Conversation Series is part of WestMAC’s plan to strengthen First Nations students’ wellbeing through a contextualised Leadership Development program called NGARI Student Leadership Development.

The Honourable Justice Lincoln Crowley was sworn in as the first First Nations judge of an Australian superior court in June.

During his speech, Justice Crowley shared stories about growing up and words of encouragement with the WestMAC students.

“It is within you to figure out where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there,” Justice Crowley said.

“Having a vision about what I wanted to do – you think it through, you think about it.”

Mr Crowley encouraged students “to achieve because you want to.”

Year 11 student Lucas Marsh said that he benefited from the relaxed and informative session with Justice Crowley.

“The highlight for me was his willingness to spend time with us and hear from us and how open he was,” Lucas said.

“He said don’t put pressure on yourself – spend time daydreaming about who you can become.

“He made some great connections from being a school student to where he is now that I really connected to, and about what is fair and what is not fair, and that others don’t make that decision for you.”

“There is a lot of pressure to get things right, and talking with someone like Justice Crowley allowed me to breathe and know that I am doing great having fun in the moment and that my vision will lead me.”

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