Little Sister Rachael

1. What obstacles in life have you been faced with and why were you nominated for SISTER2sister?

We all have different obstacles in life… When I was in high school I started seeing the school counsellor as I felt I wasn’t coping with life very well. My mother was a single mother of 5 at the time and we didn’t share the same relationship as most mother and daughters do. My dad was in and out of my life which had me questioning whether I was worth his time. It became difficult to see my self-worth, my successes, and my capabilities as I didn’t have the support and no one driving me to do so. The school counsellor was the one who nominated me to participate in SISTER2sister.

2. What impact has your Big Sister had on your life? Are you still in contact?

I wasn’t used to seeing or knowing successful people. When I met Melissa, I thought she was very successful in her education, career and life. I felt these successes contributed to her enjoying life. Throughout our time together during the SISTER2sister program she was extremely supportive, genuine and she took a caring interest in helping me achieve the best out of life. She provided me with opportunities (as did the SISTER2sister program) to grow as a young lady.

After the program we continued to keep in contact. We did the fun things like go to the movies or catch up over dinner. I was even lucky enough to travel to QLD with her and meet her family! That was a big deal for me!

3. Did the SISTER2sister program make an impact on your life? If so what impact did it make?

It taught me the importance of learning to love yourself as a young woman and how we can overcome the challenges we face as young women… Something as simple as a fear of heights, to something more difficult like talking about how you feel and it being ok to feel the way you feel and how we can overcome it. Seeing all the Big Sisters taking genuine interest in helping these Little Sisters was more drive for me to succeed because I knew when I was old enough, I wanted to help someone the way this program helped me.

I would never say I had a bad life as I didn’t; I have to admit, I am lucky with how I was brought up. I know there are more unfortunate people than me. It was more about me and my inner self. This program helped me realise my potential and what I can achieve as a young woman.

4. What have you achieved since graduating from the program?

Since the program, I began a building my professional career working in top accounting firms as an admin assistants. Working in accounting firms was not what I was passionate about, so last year I started university and am now in my second year studying a bachelor of Health Science majoring in Health Promotion and Health Service Management. I also plan to do my master’s in Public Health.

I am really driven by public health. Health is no longer the absence of disease, but is a number of factors…Your health can be determined by the area you live in, the money you make, the education you have and even the family you were born into, all which medical intervention can’t help. I am driven to help tackle the health inequalities and adopting holistic health approaches to health. I think the SISTER2sister is contributing to good health for all the Little Sisters!

Now I actually get really good grades at uni. I never settle for anything less than a distinction and have managed to achieve it. No one in my family has finished high school or even gone to uni so I was the first. I still shock myself. I ask myself who would have ever thought I would be so smart?! In the back of my head I hear my Big Sister Melissa and Jess say ‘we knew’. The program really taught me how to love myself, be my best self, and to never give up on the things we are passionate about!

5. Why should people support SISTER2sister?

People should support this program as I believe it contributes to the overall health of young women without any form of medical intervention. We need to move away from medical approaches to life and start adopting more holistic approaches. This program does that. It teaches young women how to overcome challenges in life, how we can achieve what we want to achieve. All in all, it teaches us why we matter and why we are worthy!! Not just by sitting there telling us, we are included in workshops, fun activities and seminars which sometimes we are blind to how beneficial they actually are!

As a future health worker and as a 22 year old girl, I would recommend this program to many young women to help them to achieve great things!