School captaincy helps Rocky girl represent country
WHEN Tanya Kulu came to Australia the first thing that stood out for her was the abundance of opportunities.
Plan A, Plan B, and "every other letter of the alphabet” seemed to be available to her new Rockhampton Girls Grammar School class mates, a concept that was a world away from the country she grew up in.
"You get given a lot of opportunities here that you don't get in Papua New Guinea,” she said.
"In PNG, you get one choice and if you don't do it there's no back up plan - you're done.”
When Tanya moved over in 2014 for her first year of high school, she had little idea that one day she would be finishing her final schooling year as one of the head girls.
"It was very emotional to be honest... it was such a privilege,” she said.
"It felt good because I've always wanted to give something back to the school.
"School in Papua New Guinea is very different and being head girl is like being a representative for my country here.”
Tanya's mother Nuni attended Girls' Grammar as well and was also awarded a head girl position at the school, being named as the Prue McKeague prefect in 1991.
"She did get emotional and said 'well done',” Tanya said.
"She was happy for me and she did cry and I had a few tears as well.
"Being named Helen E Downs prefect (head girl) has given me a good confidence boost and it has helped me grow so much.
"I appreciate all the responsibilities given my way and it's made me more independent as each day comes.”
Tanya has a dream to study medicine and become a doctor or a lawyer and return to her home country, to "give back”.
Sherri Green was named Prue McKeague prefect for 2018 and has already shown a keen interest in creating new opportunities for the Girls Grammar students.
"Tanya's got middle school council and I've got senior school council and we look after the kids, do socials and run fundraisers for them,” Sherri said.
"I'm excited to throw something that all the girls will like and get everyone to have some fun.
"I'm hoping to reach out to other school and do things with them and branch out and make new friends.
"I'm learning about new people and cultures and coming here has opened my eyes up.”
Tanya and Sherri both started grade eight together and were also each other's very first room mates.
"It's the lucky room,” Tanya joked.