Issue 10
Monday, 02 December 2019
Charles Darwin University
Jubilee Weo aspires to a bright future
Jubilee Weo aspires to a bright future

Jubilee inspires at Aspire graduation

By Kaye Hall

Yirrkala High School student, Jubilee Weo joined 18 Year 12 students from across the Northern Territory recently to celebrate the end of four years as part of CDU’s Aspire Program.

In the lead-up to graduation, students spent two days in Darwin networking and attending workshops, including “Adulting 101”, applying to university, resume writing, careers coaching and public speaking. They also received a letter they wrote to themselves in Year 10.

“It’s our way to celebrate the milestone of Year 12, close the loop and share inspiration for the next part of the road,” Aspire Program Coordinator Josh Barnes, said.

“There’s a big focus on what’s next.”

While Aspire is one of CDU’s flagship equity scholarships, it’s the connections, not the money, that matter most to graduates. The program keeps them connected and helps them manage life through high school and the transition to university.

“We have many students who are doing exceptional things,” Mr Barnes said. 

“Jubilee Weo is one of those students who exemplifies our key attribute of leadership.”

Originally from Papua New Guinea, Jubilee has lived in Yirrkala and Nhulunbuy for the past 10 years. This year, with the support of her Aunty Vanessa and Uncle David Lamboa and their community, she started a soup kitchen in Yirrkala, known as Yumurruku ngalapalmi, which means ‘young adults’ in yolngu matha. 

Yumurruku ngalapalmi serves up food and a sense of family for up to 50 miwulk (sisters) and dhirrmu (brothers) every Friday night. 

“We felt there had to be something in this community where youth can come and enjoy their time, feel connected and feel like they have a purpose in life,” Jubilee said.

“The youth already know that it is their space so when they come they feel comfortable. It’s like a family house.”

Jubilee who has been nominated for a Northern Territory Human Rights Award is sad that she won’t be in Yirrkala next year, but excited about studying Nursing at CDU and continuing her youth work in Darwin. Her family and community will continue to run the Yumurruku ngalapalmi, with support of some local dhirrmu.

The Aspire Program is a partnership between CDU and Northern Territory secondary schools, funded by the Australian Government's Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.