Crestwood High School captain
16 years of age
Natarina is of Indonesian heritage. She’s a first born Australian and has spent time in Jakarta with her family, understands her privilege and wants to be a diplomat.
- Different views and life experiences are important to create unity
- Cultural awareness is not akin to cultural integration
- Connection requires reaching out
Through COVID, in the darker sense, you realize that not everyone has the same experience that you do. That's really important to know, because then you're enlightened to what can happen in this world. And the more experiences you're exposed to, the more wholesome and more well-rounded you are as a person, because you're susceptible to all these different views and things about the world.
I've got a lot of family that comes from different backgrounds, culturally, socio-economically and geographically and they've had different things happen in their own lives. And just getting to know their experiences was really enlightening for me.
You become a lot more aware of what happens around the world and you really get the sense that the life you lead, isn't the life that everyone else leads.
Australia is definitely culturally aware, but we still have a long way to go in reaching equality with all the cultures we have here, including actually apologizing to the indigenous people of Australia for what we did in the 1700s during colonization. We need to integrate indigenous people back into our society and we still have a very long way to go with all that systematic racism.
As a Muslim person, sometimes during Eid when I go to mosque people would target me for comments but that is not systemic racism, it’s just racism. At the end of the day, we're all human, no matter what skin color, no matter what religion.
Something I really pride myself on is building genuine connections with other people. So every time I see a person around that I don't know, I'll say hi and maybe stop for a chat. I think that's also something just generally really important to me, building that genuine connection no matter who the person is, just everyone that I can. Because you'll never know when they'll need you or when you need them.
I would like to leave a lasting legacy and be known as the person who helped really unify the school and the students to make the school not only an institution where you go to learn, but also where your friends are and where your teachers, who also your friends, are and where they can make some of the best experiences of their life.
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