This is me on my first day of school. I still remember the smell of my new bag, fresh books, polished shoes, packed lunch. I remember the excitement of everything I would learn and where that would lead me. I remember the delight of making new friends and buzz of all the firsts I would experience - excursions, athletics carnival, being part of a team, school community events, musicals, choir.
We moved to Australia in November ’96. When we arrived, there was two weeks left in the school year before the summer break. I loved school so much that I begged my parents to let me go for the last couple of weeks so I didn’t have to wait 2 months before going back. They let me.
There I learnt Italian, had special LOTE classes (so I could learn to understand what people were saying to me in English!), learnt all about Australian culture and history along with the usual Maths and English. I sang in the school choir and made new friends. I joined Girl Guides and did jazz ballet.
A year later, we moved cities again. New friends, new teachers, new classes, new experiences.
I’ve always had a passion for learning. I appreciate that I was able to go to school for the full 12 years, and then go on to study at university. I appreciate that I never had to worry about how I was going to pay for my education or school books or uniform. It has opened up a world of opportunity for me, and I can’t imagine my life without it.
I’ve always been aware of how fortunate I am to be born into the family I was born into. Especially when over 60 million girls around the world are denied an education, simply because they were born a girl.
I believe that every girl in the world has the right to an education, choose when she marries and has children, and have the resources available to keep her body healthy. Every girl has the right to knowledge that will help her excel, understand finances and understand how she can contribute to her community so that she can support herself and her family and have the life skills to make her own decisions.
This is why I decided to become a One Girl ambassador this year. I believe that by working together we can make a difference in girls' lives and give them the opportunity to a better future. Every girl who is as passionate about education as I am, shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to learn and grow.
Through my campaign this year, my goal is to raise enough money to educate 10 girl in Sierra Leone - one of the worst places in the world to be born a girl.
In October I’ll be climbing Mt Warning in a dress to help raise funds and awareness. I’ve also been drawing in a dress - and will soon be releasing illustrations for sale - with all proceeds going to my One Girl campaign.
In the meantime, you can learn more and donate here: http://www.doitinadress.com/liana-wright
Every little bit counts!