Murri woman and MATSITI associate Jessa Rogers has been appointed principal of a new boarding school in Cairns for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers.
The Girl Academy is Australia’s first boarding school designed specifically for young mothers and their babies.
And Ms Rogers understands perfectly the difficulties of trying to finish school while pregnant, because she did it herself.
“I was about to start Year 12, running for school captain, auditioning for the school musical and on a scholarship, when I found out I was pregnant,” she said.
The idea for the school came from the aunties and grandmothers of Cape York, who were concerned that too many young women weren’t finishing their education because of pregnancy.
Ms Rogers, who is also studying for a doctorate in education, cannot wait for first term 2016.
“Since I got pregnant at 16, I’d always wanted to see a school that offered opportunities to girls like me, that had a culturally safe space, and was centered on family,” she said.
The Girl Academy is accepting enrolments from Indigenous girls aged 12 – 17 who have babies or are pregnant.