What is the first feeling the word ‘mum’ creates in you? In multi-cultural Australia, the actual word may differ in hundreds of ways and socially, her place in the
household may vary. But no matter where you live, your background, or the language you speak, our connection with the word ‘mum’ is inherently that of a carer. A safe
place. Someone who loves and nurtures.

That is what makes it so heartbreaking to read some of the applications we receive for MacKillop bursaries. Young people like Kayla, whose application we’re currently
trying to fund, have a very different experience of ‘mum’ and it is devastating to know the affect it may have on their future.

Kayla lives with her grandmother. She fought to live with her grandmother…

Because living with her mum is simply not safe for Kayla and her siblings. Her mother suffers from substance addiction and severe mental illness. While in her care, Kayla was subject to untold mental and physical trauma. Her father was never really present in her life, and two years ago, died while in prison. Despite all this, Kayla is excited about starting high school and determined to create a better future for herself. Her grandmother is not wealthy, and dependent on a disability pension to make ends meet. Kayla knows the only way out of her situation is through education.

In the bursary application, her grandmother writes: “An example of Kayla’s tenacity is that she requested to be involved in the recent court process for the granting of long-term orders for her and her siblings to remain in my care. She requested a meeting with the magistrate and held her own through a mediation meeting with six adults present. She is an exceptional young adult and I’m incredibly proud of her.”

Through no fault of her own, Kayla missed out. She was not blessed with a mother who would nurture and care for her. She had to fight for a safe place in her grandmother’s home. Today, we have an opportunity to expand that safe place to include her school environment.

Your tax-deductible gift will provide this exceptional girl the holistic Catholic education and caring community of teachers and peers she needs. Her grandmother tells us “Kayla is very aware of her family situation and knows that she wants a different life for herself. She researched her options for high schools and decided our local Catholic school was the right fit for her. She prepared very well for her interview and the principal was so impressed that she was offered a place on the spot. I am certain that having a Catholic education is going to be life-changing for Kayla, and I look forward to seeing all that she is going to achieve in her future.”

Your support will see students like Kayla thrive despite the adversity and hardship they experience in their daily lives. With your gift, you reward this child for her tenacity and hard work. You tell her to keep planning that ‘bright future’ because there is a community of people who want to see her succeed.

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