Rose Vallance: Gap Year

Rose is taking a gap year in order to travel and save money. She works at a restaurant in Mildura, and has spent an extraordinary month in Kenya, volunteering at an orphanage. She grew up in Ouyen, in North-West Victoria, and completed her schooling at Red Cliffs Secondary College, and she has a passion for acting.

Rose’s month in Kenya - 

“My month volunteering in Kenya changed everything. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, the time spent overseas made a huge difference. I came back feeling even better than I did before I hit the walls of mental illness. I’ve always been a positive person, but when that disappeared I felt lost. Kenya rejuvenated this positivity. Everyone in Kenya is constantly laughing, and it’s hard not to be affected by this incredible lust for life. I live life looking at the positives, negativity will get you nowhere in life.

The single biggest influence on my life was my Nanna Rose. From a young age, she read news articles to me about the way of life in African countries and the challenges that can be faced. Looking back, this caused me to be very conscious of the face that we take so many things for granted in Australia. My Nanna kitted blankets and send them to charities, and so I’ve always had an interest in volunteering in Africa."

On Ouyen - 

“Ouyen was an amazing place to grow up! It was a very safe environment and I spent a lot of time with friends and family.

One of my favourite memories is of our end-of-Year-11 party, which was just before I changed schools to Red Cliffs. I was very emotional about the fact that I was at the end of my last year with these amazing people.

I was sitting in the pool, I was surrounded by people that I had known for years, many of them since kindergarten. I felt very lucky to be sitting with a group of people I had grown and matured with over such a long period of time and through so many crucial years.

There are so many amazing benefits of being in a rural school. The key to any successful learning or working environment is a comfortable space, where people are safe asking questions and interacting. Our small class sizes and our personal relationships are irreplaceable."

The future - 

“The future could be anything! I’ve long had a passion and a drive to study acting, but this can feel like an impossible dream - but that won’t stop me from trying! I have a multitude of exciting options, including in makeup, arts, and teaching. My biggest passion, however, is travel - I want to go everywhere and experience everything."

Rose’s Advice - 

"It was difficult growing up in a rural community with a passion for arts and a longing for a career in that field, because in that setting these jobs can seem unnecessary. It isn’t seen as a practical or realistic goal and often I was questioned or told my dream was risky, or that it was a waste.

If you are passionate enough it will show them how serious you are and they will feel it pointless trying to put you down. Keep focused and don’t back down when people tell you what you 'should' be aiming for."