Kelam Nona, originally from Bamaga, graduated from the Academic Leaders Secondary Program in 2013, after attending Columba Catholic College in Charters Towers. Since graduating, Kelam has joined the Royal Australian Navy.

“I’m in the Royal Australian Navy. I’ve been in for two years [and] joined as a Communicator. I’m currently based at the Australian Federation Guard (AFG, Canberra). The AFG provides a tri-service ceremonial capability in order to promote the standards, values, traditions and ethos of the Australian Defence Force…”

We asked Kelam how CYLP helped him in his journey.

“The Program has helped me a lot. I am very thankful to have been a part of it. It had given me the opportunity to fulfil my dream to become a sailor of the Royal Australian Navy. It helped build my confidence and skills, which required me to become a role model to my people and my community.”

We also asked Kelam what advice he would give to the current Academic Leaders.

“Keep doing what they’re doing. If anything goes wrong in their paths, just ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask. There is no such thing as a dumb question. A little question will help you to push forward. Go hard in life. It’ll all be worth it in the end. Don’t rush at things, it takes time… patience and time do more than strength or passion.”

We are proud to see past Academic Leaders like Kelam achieving such amazing things. Keep up the great work and thank you for your service.