The West

Foster children s tenacity honoured
Murdoch University student Belinda Tran. Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

The resilience and tenacity of 34 students, trainees and apprentices who were or are in the care of the Department of Child Protection and Family Support were recognised at the Perth Airport Achiever Awards yesterday.

The annual awards recognise young people who have overcome adversity to work towards a brighter future.

Belinda Tran was awarded the Ida Curtois Inspiration Award after she was deemed to be the most outstanding of the entrants.

Ms Tran, 19, is currently studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in conservation and wildlife biology at Murdoch University.

She said the support of her mother, foster families and friends had helped her realise her potential and self worth.

"Everyone has a choice, it doesn't matter where they come from… they can do whatever they want, they just need to believe in themselves and there are so many people that can offer support and help like DCP and teachers and even family friends," she said.

University Achiever Award recipient Brayden Schofield entered foster care at the age of nine after a disruptive home life failed to lead him down "a rewarding path".

"After I came into the care of the Department I really pursued (my academic achievements) and I haven't stopped trying to achieve my academic goals since," he said.

Mr Schofield who is currently studying screen arts and creative writing said the performing arts had given him an avenue to convey a lot of the emotions he has experienced.

"It lets you express a lot of inner feelings and it's an amazing feeling being on stage and performing," he said.

Mother and student Bethany Eggert received a registered training award and said she was working towards a better life for her three-year-old Jazmin.

The 23-year-old is currently a studying a Community Services Certificate 3 and hopes to one day became a case worker to help children who have been through similar circumstances as herself.

"Every single case manager throughout my time, they are unbelievable people and each and every one of them has given me inspiration to what to do what they do, if I can help someone like they've helped me, why not try and do that," Ms Eggert said.

Child Protection Minister Helen Morton said the award recipients had achieved amazing things under very trying circumstances.

"They are creating this foundation for themselves to have a great future," she said.

"It's about their progression into the future and giving them that assistance and support and acknowledgment of where they've come from and where they are today has been a huge achievement on their part," she said.

The West Australian

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