Battlers eager to succeed

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 02 Maret 2013 | 19.55

Melanie Lowe, 14, with sister Shania Morgan, 12, and other Bridgewater area students (inset) Cameron Lowe, 17, and sisters Skye Langford, 10, and Mikayla Gillie, 14, are working hard at school to achieve their dreams. Pictures: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

TEACHER, policewoman, SAS officer -- these are the career dreams of a new generation of Tasmanian children.

Jordan River Learning Federation, formerly Bridgewater High School, has had its share of educational challenges.

The school has struggled in NAPLAN testing.

In 2011, nearly one-third of year 7 and year 9 students were in the lower levels of achievement, compared with 6 per cent of students in schools nationally.

But many of the young students the Mercury spoke to recently are ambitious and excited about their future.

Melanie Lowe, 14, is one of five children in her family, aged 19 to three, and they all have big plans.

Melanie's ambition is clear -- to join the police service.

"I want to be a police officer. To enforce the law," she said.

She said she had often been bullied at school and that made her aware of justice.

"I'll go to college and maybe university. I'll go all the way if I have to," she said.

The Jordan River student has been involved in the student representative council and a range of school and community groups.

"Whatever comes up at school, I'm into it," she said.

But she said she had copped flak from other children for being so keen in the classroom.

Her brother Cameron Lowe, 17, a Claremont College student, wants to join the defence force, and ideally the Special Air Service.

"The travel, the people you get to meet, the sights you see, friends for life," Cameron said.

"I love the training."

He said he had done boot camp with well-known trainer Tim Sproule, a former SAS officer, through Bridgewater Police and Citizens Youth Club.

Cameron also said the navy was good for discipline, and he even looks forward to ironing his trousers to create sharp creases.

"The discipline's excellent. I would say people need it, some people miss discipline a lot," he said.

Cameron said he was wild in his early high school years.

"I've got my eyes on the goal now," he said.

Mum Andrea Morgan agreed that he had "run amok".

"They've done a wonderful job with him [at Claremont]," she said.

Shania Morgan, 12, aims for further study.

"I'd like to be a teacher, a primary school teacher," Shania said.

Sister Sam Rajkumar, 19, is studying a vocational course in business at Claremont College.

"I'd like to work in police administration or births, deaths and marriages [office]," Sam said.

Mrs Morgan said education was the key to the future for her five children.

"I would like to see them have a better life, a better job. Kids do need something to build on," Mrs Morgan said.

"There are a lot of year 11 and 12s sitting at home."

In another family, Mikayla Gillie, 14, wants to be a chef.

"I've been cooking at school since grade 7," said the My Kitchen Rules fan.

She has two uncles who are pastry chefs.

Her sister Skye Langford, 10, dreams of being a hairdresser.

"I want to dye mum and dad's hair. I already dye my mum's hair," Skye said.

Their mum Nicole Langford said she wanted her four children to have opportunities.

"As long as they get a good education and a decent job. They're having pathway planning at school."

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