Story by GO supporter and Stories for Simon author Lisa Sarzin.

Ella and Lachlan with mum, KellyBrother and sister, Ella (aged 10) and Lachlan (aged 14) are some of the newest members to the GO Foundation family. Ella is in Year 5 at Ngunnawal Primary, and Lachlan is in Year 9 at Gold Creek High School in Canberra. Their father’s mob is Wiradjuri from Narrandera, and the family is now living on Ngunnawal land.

Both Ella and Lachlan’s favourite subject at school is PE, and they both love physical activity. For Lachlan, it’s playing Rugby League at his local club and for Ella, her newfound passion is Hip Hop dancing. ‘I’ve made lots of new friends and we get to do concerts’ says Ella, who loves being on stage. Ella considers ‘being able to get on the stage in front of everyone’ to be one of her proudest moments. Her sparkle is well-suited to the stage. Ella’s mum, Kelly, describes Ella as ‘kind, thoughtful and an energiser bunny. She’s just a beautiful kid’. Ella is also very appreciative of her mum and the important role that she plays in guiding her. ‘She helps me solve things, like friendship issues.’ says Ella.

Ella’s message to the world is ‘If you get pushed down, just hop back up again’. Kelly is not surprised that Ella has such a positive and resilient personal motto. Kelly reflects, ‘Ella just pushes through everything. She’s had some hardships over the past few years. She’s had a couple of injuries that unfortunately resulted in her being hospitalised, but each time she’s had a smile on her face.’ Resilience and perseverance are qualities that the siblings share as Lachlan’s proudest achievement is ‘being able to get back to the gym and footy’ after he had an accident last year.

Ella’s positivity extends to her excitement and appreciation of being a GO Scholar. She says that it is a great thing in her life. ‘I can go on excursions and camps and I can get supplies that I may not have’, Ella says with a big smile.

The whole family is looking forward to connecting with other GO Scholars within the GO family and widening their horizons through learning about the inspiring stories of other incredible GO Scholars. Kelly is excited to see how far her children will go with the ‘great opportunity to meet and learn from other students’ as well as ‘GO support and mentoring opportunities’.

At the same time Ella and Lachlan are keen to deepen their connection to culture by learning more about their own Wiradjuri heritage and where they are from. Ella in particular would love to learn traditional Aboriginal games.

Ella’s goal for the rest of 2021 is ‘getting an ‘A’ in maths and being able to solve problems’ and Lachlan’s goal is to ‘work towards an apprenticeship’.

As for her long-term dreams, Ella is open-minded. ‘I have little thoughts, like maybe I want to be a vet, maybe I want to be a teacher, it depends on the moment. I may be doing maths, or maybe art and then want to be an art teacher!’ So for the moment, Ella is happy being a smiling ray of sunshine to her family and ‘doing cartwheels every two seconds’.

Lachlan’s dream is to play football professionally, but he also has the goal of one day owning his own business after learning a trade. Lachlan is well equipped to make his dreams come true. As his mum Kelly observes, ‘Lachlan is thoughtful, intelligent and determined, he is also great on the tools – building and fixing things!

Both Ella and Lachlan would like to see positive changes happen in the world. For Ella that would be focussing on making sure that ‘people who don’t have a home or a good home could receive a good place or home to be able to live’ and for Lachlan it would be ‘for people to be treated equally’.