20 October 2020

Kirra went from hating school to loving it, with a little help and support.

Sometimes the phrase ‘pull your socks up’ can have a whole range of meanings – and in the case of Kirra, the socks she is now pulling up make all the difference in the world.

Kirra is a young Aboriginal woman living in a Life Without Barriers Residential Home in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. She had a difficult time at her previous school, with suspensions and run-ins with other students. Through strong collaboration with the department, her Life Without Barriers team was able to get her into a different school for a fresh start.

One of the reasons Kirra was having issues at her previous school was the strict school uniform policy. Kirra didn't feel comfortable wearing bright white school socks and would often wear black ones instead - leading to trouble. Lucky for Kirra, her new school was much more understanding of what Kirra wanted and relaxed the policy for her - she now looks forward to school. “Kirra was buzzing with excitement as she got ready for school this morning,” said a carer who supported Kirra during her change of school.

“The reason for her biggest smile was when I told her the news – the new school did not have a strict policy around socks, and she was welcome to wear black socks.”

“I look really good in this new uniform.” Kirra said.

It might seem like a small thing, but for a young person, feeling comfortable in the clothing they wear and how they present themselves is important to build self-esteem, identity and empowerment.

By allowing black socks for Kirra, it has resulted in her not getting detentions/suspension for not wearing ‘standard’ school uniform and lead to greater engagement with her education.

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