MEET Miss Kaia Mercy, a 12 year old Year 6 student who is the first Aboriginal student to win the Gulmarrad Public school's Dux Award. As far as her grandparents Lester and Gloria are aware, she may be the first Aboriginal person to win the Dux award of any school in Maclean. Kaia completed both her infants and primary school education at Gulmarrad Public School, with Maths English and Science being her favourite subjects.
A quiet and modest young woman Kaia did not believe it, when half the school told her that she would win the Dux award. She thought that she really didn't have a chance.
Kaia is the oldest child of four children; having two brothers and a sister. Her family was so excited that Kaia has received this award. Kaia's mum Stefanie broke down crying on the phone when she heard the news. Her grandparents Lester and Gloria Mercy are also absolutely proud of their granddaughter. Gloria says her granddaughter is a positive role model for other Aboriginal children. "Kaia being Dux of her school will show other Aboriginal children that they too, can do well at school, if they put their minds to it.”
As well as her academic achievements, Kaia has always been an active member of her school community. She has taken part in school musicals and has represented her school at regional spelling bee competitions - being the runner up last year.
Although a few years away yet, Kaia has been putting some thought into future career choices - at the moment she is deciding between being a doctor or a lawyer.
Kaia has some good advice for other young Aboriginal students - "Stay in school, try your best, learn and just have fun”. This approach has certainly worked for Kaia.
2018 will see Kaia commence her secondary education at Maclean High school.