A MEMBER of a Brisbane Broncos academy has been elected captain of Alexandra Hills State High School for 2021.
Sharni Mellare, who has been a part of the Beyond the Broncos Girls Academy for the past five years, has vowed to be an inspiration to more than 150 other Indigenous students at her school.
Mellare has faced a number of challenges throughout her young life, including losing her father to a brain aneurism.
She has plans to study medicine and become a neurosurgeon after finishing school next year.
"After my father passed away from a brain aneurysm, I have been really interested in working in the medical field," Mellare said.
"I may not be able to change the world, but I can change someone's world."
Mellare's mother Tamara was the driving force behind her joining the academy.
"When I first joined the program in year seven I was really insecure, and I lacked a lot of self- confidence," she said.
"With the support of many of the people at the Beyond the Broncos Academy, I have learnt to embrace who I am and where I come from.
"I am now a proud Indigenous girl and I want to inspire others to be as well, so they can achieve anything they want to, regardless of their cultural background."
Brisbane Broncos general manager of community and government programs Christine Halliwell said Mellare was a fantastic ambassador for the program.
"(She) is an excellent example of the Broncos community program at work and an amazing model for the other young Indigenous girls we are mentoring," she said.
"It has been a privilege watching her development from a shy student into a strong and passionate leader during her time at the academy."
The Beyond the Broncos Academy aims to improve school attendance and foster leadership.
Mellare is one of 1300 female students from grades seven to 12 who are currently enrolled in the girls academy in 43 schools across Queensland and northern New South Wales.
The program has supported more than 1700 students since it began in 2016.
Bowman MP Andrew Laming said more than 180 girls completed their Year 12 studies as the Beyond the Broncos Girls Academy graduating class of 2020 last week.
"Next year, Sharni will join this growing band of graduates and set off on her own inspirational journey," he said.
"I congratulate her wholeheartedly and wish her and the many other Indigenous students at Alexandra Hills State High School all the very best."
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