Busselton Senior High School welcomes its first Indigenous school captain

Busselton Senior High School student Damien Farrell is the school's first Indigenous school captain.
Busselton Senior High School student Damien Farrell is the school's first Indigenous school captain.

Damien Farrell is the first Indigenous student to be appointed school captain at Busselton Senior High School nominated by his fellow peers and selected by senior executive staff.

"I am really happy to receive this role, I have been working towards it for a while now," he said.

Mr Farrell had set his sights on the role of school captain when he was in Year 9 so that he could be a role model for younger Indigenous children in the community.

"My main goal for being school captain is to have younger children look up and see what Indigenous people can achieve," he said.

"I would like Indigenous students to feel more comfortable to take on larger roles and be role models as well."

Outside of school Mr Farrell also strives to be a role model for children in the community and has done Welcome to Country at football games during NAIDOC Week.

At school, he is participating in a program called Manufacturing Industry Speaks where he will complete a Cert II in Engineering and a Cert II in Building and Construction.

"The course will open up pathways into trades, as well as a job on a mine site," he said.

Busselton Senior High School spokesperson Betty Coultas said they were very excited to have Mr Farrell as their first Indigenous school captain.

"Damien has shown all the staff and students that he is more than capable of being in a leadership role," she said.

"He is quite well known around the school because he has been doing a lot of our Welcome to Country at assemblies.

"BSHS education officer Gwen Gray has setup the Waalitj Kaaditjin engagement program [a program to improve outcomes and help Indigenous students succeed at school] which Damien has been part of."

Ms Gray said that he was one of their founding students to initiate the program.

"Damien jumped on board all of our conservation and cultural outings and really paved the way to set expectations that students could strive for," she said.

"Damien is pretty much a pillar of our core values at the school, he is widely respected not just within our school but within the wider Aboriginal community as well.

"It is almost a rite of passage that he has paved the way to excel and set expectations for our younger students."