“One of my happiest memories was probably getting School Captain when I was in primary school.
For me at the time, as a twelve-year-old, I thought School Captain of my primary school, the school that my mum went to, was a position of authority in my town. So, I felt like I was doing my family proud. We ended up getting the school some new cricket nets.
But I was like one of the other kids. I used to laugh about the jokes on Facebook about Cessnock.
The ‘Cessnock Memes’ page - I’d joke about it. I always used to put Cessnock down. But Mum pulled me up and she’d say, ‘Well, what’s wrong with Cessnock? It’s just like any other town. You should be proud of where you come from.’ And knowing that she’s grown up in Cessnock I guess made me respect that and I thought, ‘Yeah, she’s right.’ I really should respect where I come from and be passionate about my community even if it does have some negatives. Use that as an opportunity to grow the town.
The stereotype around Cessnock … I don’t like that it exists. And I think if the one thing that I achieve in my life is that my hometown isn’t looked down upon by the people who live in it and by other people who live around it then I’d be happy with that. I think that’s my absolute passion.
I’d really like to get into politics. The Prime Minister of Australia - that would be the ultimate dream. It probably started off as a bit of, ‘That would be cool. I want to do that. I want to be the Prime Minister.’ But now it’s moreso that I think that would do some amazing things for our community. If you were to say, ‘I’m from Cessnock,’ and the Prime Minister of our country grew up in Cessnock - still lives in Cessnock - then I think that would do some amazing things for the stereotypes that face Cessnock and the way that people feel about living and coming from Cessnock.
It’s pretty far-fetched but it’s the ultimate goal.”