By ERWIN CHLANDA
Some work, some travel, some play and some chill. But few would have focussed as clearly on her future, in the fields of law and helping the disadvantaged, here and around the world, as has Alexandra Rosewarne.
After graduating from OLSH in 2017 as college captain and dux, the winner of this year’s $18,000 Paul Harris Fellowship awarded by the Rotary Club of Alice Springs embarked on her passions with gusto.
She worked as an inclusion support staff member at Traeger middle school, “working with kids with social or learning disabilities, and as a volunteer and social worker at the Gap Youth and Community centre at their drop in centre at night time, and their holiday program,” she told the club on Wednesday in her acceptance and “thank you” speech for the scholarship awarded over three years. The Club raises most of the money through its Melbourne Cup raffle.
“I was involved with the town council Youth Action Group, and towards the end of the year sat as a guest on the Alice Springs community bank board of directors.
“However, one of the biggest highlights of my year was my trip to East Timor, where I first visited on an immersion trip in 2016, and my subsequent work fundraising for Centro Feto Haburas Dezenvolvemento, the women’s centre for growth and development in the Baucau district.
“My meeting with the director of CFHD, Teresa Pereira, and local women volunteering and using the centre was a point of clarity, inspiration and motivation for me, where I felt a sudden conviction of this is something I’m going to do.
“So when I and close friend Jemma returned to Australia we set about fundraising for the women’s centre. We held two massive fundraising lawnsales amongst other fundraising, and have raised $1800 thus far,” Alexandra said.
“When we return to East Timor this year, we will present this to Teresa the director and provide what services we can to the centre.
Alexandra is the third from the right.
“My involvement with CFHD is something I wish to continue in years to come, as I believe the work they do to economically and socially empower women in the community, enabling them to take an active role in developing their futures and the futures of their community, is something really important everywhere, but especially in a country recovering from decades of colonisation, war and oppression.
“My experiences in East Timor greatly motivated my decision to undertake a double degree in law and international development at the University of Adelaide this year, as I realised a passion of mine to work with people in areas of human and environmental sustainability, and social rights.
“By developing my knowledge and skills through tertiary study I believe I will be able to bring a more capable version of myself to these communities I wish to work with and serve in the future.
“As well as East Timor, I intend to to travel and work in other countries, both through opportunities provided in my university and independently, to further my experience and broaden my perspective, enabling me to problem solve and collaborate from a more informed, rather than purely theoretical, viewpoint.
“I’ll also continue to work with youth in my communities, when I get to Adelaide later this month I’m intending to volunteer or find work at a local youth centre, and when I return to Alice Springs sporadically throughout the next five years I definitely intend to go back to volunteer or work at the Gap Youth Centre.
“I believe in the power of the people and the community, and I hope to continue to give back to mine.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA