On Monday 26th September, Kate and Julie arrived in Darwin for 4 days of school presentations at local Darwin High Schools. It was their first trip interstate to deliver Travel Safety Presentations at High Schools where Kate spoke to Year 12 at Darwin High, Year 12 at Essington College and to Year’s 9 – 12 at Taminmin College in Humpty Doo. The lasting impact she left behind was incredible, “Kate’s talk has generated a lot of discussion around the school! I’ve been teaching for 7 years and have sat through a lot of talks and have never seen one make as big an impression on the students, so keep it up!“, is the feedback from Rob McIntosh, a Taminmin College PDHPE teacher.
This interstate trip was initially originated by Mr McIntosh and his Year 9 Pastoral Care class at Taminmin College, a large rural high school in Humpty Doo – about 30 minutes from Darwin. Each year they run the Taminmin Cares Challenge, where each year 9 Pastoral Care group raises money for a charity and Year 9B selected the Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation as their charity this year. Their students were compelled to work for Kate, not only due to her courage and the inspiring way she is attempting to prevent avoidable overseas fatalaties/injuries but also because the destinations she talks about are so close to those in the NT. Most of NT kids go to Bali for schoolies or just a trip with family or friends, yet they are not aware of the potential risks that they may face abroad. Taminmin’s students want to promote worthwhile causes like this in the Territory.
Kate and Julie had one of the most amazing experiences sharing Nicole’s legacy and the important travel safety messages that tragically come along with it to many wonderful NT students who whole heartedly embraced the lessons Kate teaches through her presentations.
Below Kate would like to share with you this special experience with you in her own words:
Wow. This past week up in Darwin delivering my first interstate travel safety school presentations was easily one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences in my life. It was very surreal to be delivering my presentations on the other side of Australia within the first year since losing my beautiful sister and the powerful impact I had with the students was overwhelming uplifting. Hearing that majority of students I spoke with had booked schoolies or had upcoming holidays in Bali made me so grateful that I had the opportunity to share Nicole’s story with them all to serve as an unforgettable warning that we need to keep our safety as a priority with every decision with make wherever we are in the world. Taminmin College was the 25th school I delivered my presentation too and I can’t believe I have hit a quarter of a century in my school visits! I couldn’t think of a more special school to hit this milestone with than this wonderful college in Humpty Doo who were the ones who originally invited me to Darwin & helped make this trip happen!
It is difficult to put into words the strong connection I form with the students during my presentation as I share a piece of my heart with each of them and many of them tell me I have taught them life-changing lessons they will never forget. So instead of trying to find the words to capture the impact I am having with students, I will share with you the feedback straight from the students themselves:
“Hey I’m from Darwin High School and I think what your doing is absolutely amazing! You are so brave and show such pride and joy sharing your sisters story that you touched the heart of so many of us. I could see tears in so many eyes and I just wanted to let you know you and your family are doing a wonderful job at creating this awareness and support amongst young Australians. Thank you so much xxx” – Year 12 Student, Darwin High
“Hi Kate, I am a Year 12 student at Darwin High and I am absolutely touched by your message and story today. Throughout all of today Nicole and your family has been in my heart and I think it will remain that way forever. The work you, your family and Jaimee have done is absolutely incredible! Please visit ALL students across Australia, the message needs to be heard by all Australian high school students! Once again, thank you so much for your visit today!” – Year 12 Student, Darwin High
“Hey I just wanted to thank you so much for coming to my school (Essington) and giving such a truly amazing talk! You have really opened my eyes and I will forever remember today! You are truly amazing, what you and your family are doing is incredible and I hope you go to all the schools in Australia as you deliver such a strong message that needs to be heard by everyone! Your story deeply affected me it brought tears to my eyes and has made me realize how truly precious life is! Your sister sounds like such an amazing person and she lives on within you and your family! Thank you so much! Today will always be remembered xo” – Year 12 Student, Essington College
“Hi Kate, I am one of the year 11 students from Taminmin College in Darwin. I would just like to thank you for coming to our school and sharing your experience and this message with us all. It was truly an amazing presentation and touched so many of us. I am so greatful of you and your family’s resilience and strength in the face of tragedy. I hope that you can continue to share this message and Nicole’s story with many others across the country! You are truly inspirational and I wish you luck.” – Year 11 Student, Taminmin College
“Thank you for sharing your story with us at Essington School today. You are an extremely inspiring person and I wish you all the best in the future for your family and your sisters foundation. You definitely touched our hearts with the awful tragedy. The message was pretty clear and I hope others noticed that too, Thank you for everything.” – Year 12 Student, Essington College
“I’m a year 11 student at Taminmin College, today I saw your presentation and I just want to say that what your doing is amazing. Two days ago I lost a friend in a car accident so what you were saying about resilience definitely touched me and has helped me a lot. You’re a very inspiring person and I think your sister would have been incredibly proud.” – Year 11 Taminmin Student
“Dear Kate, You touched me in many ways. We didn’t get to actually meet but honestly you changed my life, and my view of things. I am very happy to share your story to others as it was so touching. I am very proud that you can stand up there and speak so confidently, trust me I wouldn’t be able to. Your inspirational and I admire everything you put in to make this presentation. When I walked in I was one person now I am another. Keep going with all the good work! I understand how much it hurts to loose someone that means everything to you but you still stand up so strong and i cant thankyou enough for being such a great role model. Thanks for being such a beautiful inspiration to many people at Taminmin College. I look up to you! xx” – Year 9 Student, Taminmin
“Hi Kate, I was in the year 9 presentation at Taminmin collage today and I just wanted to let you know what and inspiration you are to me and many more. I am honoured to have been one in millions of students to have met you and shared a bit of your expirance with you today. I honestly am so amazed in what you have done for your beautiful sister, I find it so special that you have come and educated us in ways no one els could have. The pain that you would have gone through is unthinkable I had goose bombs all the way through the presentation I’m so thankful for this experience thank you.” – Year 9 Student, Taminmin College
“Hey guys you came to my school yesterday (Taminmin). Id just like to say thank-you for sharing the story. My friend and i are actually going to Bali in a few weeks and honestly i didnt even think about the non-safe things you said, you really opened my eyes. Thanks again!” – Year 9 Taminmin Student
“Thank you for such a powerful presentation today. Your speech was so touching and you have definitely made people think twice about how quickly some ones life can be taken. You’re such a strong and inspiring person! I hope the best for you and your families future.” – Year 11 Taminmin student
“I would just like to say thanks for today I am one of the students from taminmin and my family and are going over seas for the first time and me feel safer knowing all your tips Thank You.” – Year 10 Taminmin Student
“Hello! I was in the group today at Essington and I just want to say how beautiful and touched I am after hearing that presentation, I think what you are doing is amazing and I look up to the courage and strength you all have! Thankyou again that was truly amazing xo” – Year 12 Student, Essington College