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Monique Mallyer

Monique is a Gunggari and Wangkamurra high school student. She sees her biggest achievements as: winning the national under 12's girl's shotput event in Darwin in 2011; being awarded Charleville's NAIDOC Junior Sportsperson of the Year in 2012; and winning a Yalari scholarship and going to boarding school. Most recently Monique won gold in shotput at the Queensland Secondary Track and Field Championships in Brisbane in October 2012.

"Cathy Freeman has been my role model and inspiration ever since I was old enough to understand how much of an inspiration she is to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," she says.

"She has proven that no matter what your background or family history you can achieve anything and have people around you who love and support you no matter what happens."

Monique hopes to live life to the fullest and achieve things in life that make her happy and have an amazing time with family friends. She also hopes to live her life "because everyone knows you only live your life once".

However life hasn't been without its challenges.

"Going to boarding school this year has been one of my biggest challenges. Coping with homesickness and adjusting to a new environment has been tough," she says.

She feels that education is very important to every student's life, and that if you make the most of school and any opportunities available you can go a long way.

When Monique finishes high school she would like to go to university to study physiotherapy or photography, or her biggest dream is to become an Olympian. She thinks she has the dedication and practice that the Olympic dream requires.

"I hope to inspire other young Indigenous kids to perform well in sports and pursue their dreams. I also want to inspire them to stay in school because you have that access to education whereas other kids do not and you should take that opportunity and hold onto it tight," she says.

"I am proud to be an Aboriginal person. Especially when I was marching down the main street of Mitchell with my family and other Gunggari people after our native title claim was granted by a Federal judge."

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