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Meet Ruby; Year 11 Student Spotlight

Ruby is the definition of a quiet achiever. Over the two years that she has been with us, we have watched her confidence and positivity flourish. She is a proud Wiradjuri woman, a Hospitality whiz and a caring member of our NGC family.

But before Ruby came to our school, she found it tough to focus on her learning. While the limited 1:1 time available with her teachers was part of the challenge, it was predominantly outside the classroom where she struggled to find her place. With experiences of bullying weighing her down, Ruby's nan suggested that she start fresh at NGC and follow in the footsteps of her older sister and NGC graduate, Abby. "I hated school before coming to NGC. There was a lot of bullying and rumours and I felt like I didn't fit into these big groups. Now that I've been here, it's a lot different. There are no bullies; people don't judge and are more accepting of who everyone is. And for classes, I can sit with the teacher and ask when I don't understand something. That really helps."

Ruby has made great strides in the classroom and says she is enjoying Maths and PDHPE in particular. We are also seeing her shine in the kitchen via her chosen VET subject of Hospitality. As Ruby cooks up a storm on a weekly basis and shares the end product with her peers, she is developing new skills and confidence that will help her beyond the school gates. At NGC, we are proud to be a culturally affirmative, safe space for young people of all cultures, ethnicities and gender identities. Ruby has been able to find opportunities to connect with her Aboriginality through our Cultural Education program that is facilitated by NGC’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members. This has included engaging in Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies at every school event to heading out to significant cultural sites across the Central Coast. A favourite memory for Ruby was our 2021 excursion to Barangaroo, Sydney, for a Cultural Ghost Tour!

During her time with us, Ruby has been able to utilise the additional supports available through NGC's Student Enrichment Team. She says that this has helped her stay on track and remain positive, especially as she tackles the challenge of her preliminary HSC year. Ruby has also benefited from plenty of time spent with her peers, whether it's having fun at Aqua Splash, exploring at Girrakool or sharing burritos after a Wednesday morning cookathon! "I think the teachers can help you a lot more here and you're always about to take time out when you need to chat about something you're dealing with. I like being able to talk with Lee T or Damien or go somewhere quiet if I want to. It's been easier to make friends; even though it's only a small school, it feels like you can approach more people. I would tell anyone to come here because it's really good, different and everyone is supportive."