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Vincentia High School

Vincentia High School

Learning For Life

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George Brown

What year did you graduate VHS?

I graduated Year 12 in 2001

Where are you working now and in what role?

I am currently the Human Resources Manager at Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council (WBACC).

What do you love about your job?

As the Human Resources Manager for WBACC; I love that I get to give back to my community. Whilst studying Commerce at the University of New South Wales, and working in the government and not-for-profit sectors, I always had the goal of returning home and contributing.

 I love that I get to play a key role and work in an organisation that was set up by our Community leaders and Elders. The diverse work we undertake from providing community services, stakeholder engagement, early learning centre education, contract services and jointly managing our national park (Booderee National Park) is challenging but very rewarding.

One of the more exciting duties I have in this role… is the work I get to do with Vincentia High School; in particular the collaboration with the Aboriginal Education Officer, Aunty Gai Brown and her team. I love that I get to discuss, ideate and execute programs and activities to keep the Indigenous students engaged at VHS. It’s my way of giving back to the school that invested in me.

 Did anyone at VHS inspire you to follow your chosen career path?

During my time at VHS, I was inspired by those individuals who supported and invested in my development - from Ms Boyce (Year Advisor), Ms Emery, Mr and Mrs Worthy, my fellow Indigenous and non-Indigenous brothers and sisters; but the person who encouraged and inspired me to dream big, was Aunty Helen Pussell (former Aboriginal Education Advisor). She encouraged me to submit an essay in the national essay competition, which led to my selection in the Olympic Youth Camp (Sydney Games 2000), to become a member of the Student Representative Council (SRC) and later, the first Indigenous School Captain at VHS (2001); but more importantly, she was the advocate that inspired me to undertake further investment, by way of tertiary education. Now I am currently completing my postgraduate studies, a Master Business Administration (MBA) with a specialisation in Social Impact, at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). 

Did you have many challenges to get to where you are now?

Yes. My journey since leaving VHS has seen many challenges, from losing loved ones during exam week at university, to struggling financially as a student in Sydney, to failing subjects and not winning opportunities. However, I was able to overcome these challenges with the support of family and friends, asking for help, and more importantly having a plan, dedicating myself to executing the plan, and always having a positive mindset whilst I worked to achieve my goals.

Do you have any advice for our current students?

My advice for current students at VHS would be:

1. That it is OK to have as the aspirations, goals and dreams - just be brave enough to chase them, stay focused, believe in yourself and make sure you choose the path that means the most to you; 

2. A tough lesson I’ve learnt - be accountable for your actions and choices, and don’t make excuses, and finally;

3. Work hard and where possible, give more than you take.