Caleb Tull, Jack White and Bailey Butler at this years Indigenous graduation mass. Inset: Jack in action on the football field.
Caleb Tull, Jack White and Bailey Butler at this years Indigenous graduation mass. Inset: Jack in action on the football field. Contributed

St Brendan’s first Aboriginal school captain in 75 years

JACK White made history this year by being the first Aboriginal school captain to lead St Brendan's College in over 75 years.

The 17 year old said he was honoured to take on the role and had used his position to be a good role model for his fellow students.

"Throughout this year I have tried to use my leadership role to be a good role model for not only the indigenous boys but also all of the boys within the college and even be a role model for my senior peers," Jack said.

"Particularly with the indigenous boys I have tried to use my leadership role as an example that they shouldn't be afraid to have a go at something even if it is pushing your comfort zone."

Jack said the fact he was the first Aboriginal school captain in more than 75 years was wonderful but it was only one of many examples of the diversity the school encouraged and opportunities the college allowed him to experience.

"It doesn't matter what culture you are here," he said.

"Here you are a St Brendan's man and that's all."

Jack said juggling all of his roles had been tough throughout the year but his family, friends and teachers backed him all the way.

"I have been strict with my study time. More importantly it was just about balancing my schoolwork, footy, and leadership role," he said.

"The school understood that I would have a busy year and therefore they didn't put too much pressure on me, overall I have just taken this year one step at a time."

After school Jack plans to move to Sydney to continue his training with the under 18 St George Dragons side.

Jack said he would also be studying civil engineering part time at the University of Sydney.

"The degree gives me something to fall back on however the main goal is to focus on my dream and that is following my football career."

He said he wants to make sure the younger boys at school enjoy the time they have left and take advantage of every opportunity which is thrown their way.

"You have to give everything your best shot and don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone," he said.

"I encourage the young indigenous boys to study hard as a good education is the key."

Stacey Gooda, Jack's mum said she is amazed by the respect he gave and received.

"He has worked really hard whether on the field or off the field he gives it 110 per cent," Stacey said.

She said he was a fine young man who could engage with anyone and was thankful for the opportunities he had been given.

"If our ancestors hadn't paved the path for us, Jack wouldn't be where he is today," she said.

"That's why family and culture is so important to us, it's who makes us who we are as people."



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