Lua Pellegrini with familyStory by GO supporter and Stories for Simon illustrator Lauren Briggs.

Lua Pellegrini is a Wiradjuri woman who grew up on Darug country, wise beyond her years and a GO scholar since her high school days at Loreto, Normanhurst. Lua is currently in her second year at UNSW, studying a double degree; Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Art.  Committed to every aspect of her life, Lua’s passion for learning, family, community and art is evident in the whole-hearted and enthusiastic way she shares her story.

Living on campus during the week and making her way home on weekends, Lua is proud to be part of a large, extended family.  Weekends are filled with spending time with her three younger brothers and three nieces and doing what she loves to do best, her art. Painting is her favourite medium of expression.

Covid restrictions gave Lua the time to immerse herself in her artwork. She reminisces ‘It was a really good opportunity to hone in and focus on why art is important to me.  Why I really love doing this and how it is so meditative, how it connects me to my culture and where I grew up on Darug country.’

Lua Pellegrini artworkRecently, Lua has taken up weaving.  Although none of her family members weave, it has been a trial and error process, learning a skill that further ties her to her rich culture and past.

Eager to gain life experience and connect with her people and community, Lua began volunteering at Jarjum College in Redfern in 2015.  ‘I love being part of their community and listening to what the children have to say, listening to their stories about their lives.’ Not long ago, Lua also had the opportunity to meet her great-aunt, Aunty Josie on Wiradjuri country and continue to build a strong relationship with local elder Uncle Greg Simms.

The importance of the GO Ecosystem is also evidenced in Lua’s success. Through the CareerTrackers Program, Lua gained an internship with SBS. She excelled in her internship and was offered a job in HR.  Lua has been happily working at SBS for the past 6 months, enjoying the position to such a degree, it inspired her to swap the minor in her Arts degree to Human Resource Management.

There have been two strong female role models in Lua’s life.  The first is her mother, Frances.  Lua shares her mum’s wise words ‘The key to a great life is a happy life.  It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are happy.  That is what will make it all worth it in the end.’  Lua has taken this on as one of the guiding principles in her life.

The second female role model is Shirley Chowdhary, past CEO of GO.

Lua explains that Shirley’s dedication to the role and how much she loved GO, had a huge impact on her. ‘She treated every single GO Scholar as an individual and not just another number. No matter how big or small the problem was, no matter how busy Shirley was, she dedicated the time to the scholar and gave them the attention that they needed.  That is the type of person I want to be.’

Adding these principles to her already impressive personal armour, there is no doubt that Lua will continue her journey with the same love and passion that she has already dedicated to her family, community and art. The GO Foundation is extremely proud to have Lua as an alumnus and values her continued involvement in the GO Family.