Catherine Brooks grew up in Aireys Inlet. She is now studying a Bachelor of Arts in Media & Communications at the University of Melbourne. She is passionate about becoming a teacher and then supporting every student to reach his or her dreams.
What does the future hold?
"I am currently working at a not-for-profit called the Engage Education Foundation, who aims to overcome educational inequality, and I am going to volunteer in Cambodia to work in a primary school for a month. My ideal job is to be a teacher who students want to be taught by."
Growing up in Aireys Inlet:
"A small town is a very unique experience. My school was very supportive of me and were willing to let me follow my own path through VCE. I struggled with stress, but my school was great and with their continual encouragement, VCE was a great experience. Throughout my schooling, I made a very tight circle of friends who I know will be with me forever.
My town has a beautiful atmosphere of friendliness, and it is a wonderful place to live. One ANZAC day, I was the keynote speaker and I recall standing in front of the crowd at the dawn service. I remember the complete silence. Looking behind me towards the assembled war veterans, and many had been brought to tears. In front of me there were the primary school students, and they were looking up at me wide eyed. It was a really special moment.
I only did one subject at my school, and the rest I did via correspondence (Distance Education). It was challenging to not have a teacher, but it was an opportunity to manage my own study load and set the pace of my study. I had a lot of autonomy, but in hindsight I think this made me more prepared for university and professional life."
"I’ve learnt that it’s about owning your choices, and making the most of them.
Believe in yourselves and make the most of what you have, and you never know where you might end up."