or­di­nary peo­ple

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT - ELISSA LAWRENCE


School chap­lains are inspiring peo­ple. They are a voice for the kids no mat­ter what. I want to be that per­son for kids and I’m study­ing to be­come a high school chap­lain. My own chap­lain at Mt Alver­nia Col­lege [Ke­dron, in Bris­bane’s north] was an amaz­ing per­son who re­mem­bered ev­ery kid and was a great sup­port. That’s what I want to do with my life.

Af­ter school, I did a me­chan­i­cal ap­pren­tice­ship for a year. My dad [An­drew, 57] was a rac­ing car driver and I’ve al­ways had an in­ter­est in how cars work. He stopped rac­ing when my brother [Chris, 24] and I were lit­tle, but he owned a clas­sic Amer­i­can mus­cle car – a Shelby Co­bra. We’d see Dad ev­ery sec­ond week­end – we’d go for rides and he’d work on cars in his garage. It all made quite an im­pres­sion.

I loved work­ing in me­chan­ics but re­alised it wasn’t long-term. I did bar work for a while and part of an early child­hood TAFE di­ploma, but it still wasn’t what I was look­ing for. Now, I’ve fi­nally found it. I’m study­ing for a Cer­tifi­cate IV in youth work and a di­ploma in school chap­laincy, and I’m do­ing a place­ment as a chap­lain at Al­bany Creek State High School [north Bris­bane] one day a week. I work at Wool­worths part-time as a cashier – check­out chick – and on week­ends I work for Queens­land Race­way [car rac­ing] as a track of­fi­cial. It’s how I get my car fix.

I’m born and bred in Bris­bane. I live with my mum [Marie, 57] and my brother and we’ve been in the same house for the past 19 years. I was brought up in a Catholic fam­ily but I’m not the most re­li­gious of peo­ple. I’m not a Sun­day regular. Mum and Dad di­vorced when I was two and Dad now lives in Pa­pua New Guinea and we see him two or three times a year.

When I was eight, I started ball­room danc­ing and I danced com­pet­i­tively un­til Year 12. Af­ter a four-year break, I have re­cently taken it up again and dance one day a week, which is all I can fit in. My friends and I like go­ing to rodeos, B& S balls and coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­vals. I think I’m a coun­try girl at heart. I plan to grow old with a clas­sic car – a 1967 GT Shelby Mus­tang. She’s a clas­sic lady.

My mum and my dance coach call me open-hearted. I al­ways care. No mat­ter how big or how small, I’m al­ways will­ing to help some­one, and chap­laincy is some­thing I can see my­self do­ing for the rest of my life.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.