In her younger years, school wasn't important to Janaya Rose.
She's now one of the cultural captains at Dubbo College Senior Campus, helping to create more cultural awareness and address concerns of the other students at the school.
Janaya and Jaren Barker are the first cultural captains at the school.
For Janaya, it took a little convincing to put herself forward for the position. It's a role that she says now means "everything".
"The role means everything to me because its involving Koori kids to have a voice within the school and community, and it also allows Koori kids to be actively involved in both school and community events while representing their mob and fellow Aboriginal students," she said.
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
Janaya said cultural captains allowed students to gain an understanding of the importance of Aboriginal representation.
Jaren said the role for him meant he had to step out of his comfort zone and speak up.
"[It's important] so there can be black voices in the school. It gives us Aboriginal students a chance to input our opinions and thoughts about what goes on in the school, especially when it comes to our culture and events such as NAIDOC," he said.
Both students are currently in year 12.
Despite coming to the end of her schooling, when asked what she hopes to achieve from the role, Janaya has an impressive list.
"For example, cultural awareness throughout the school so both students and teachers can understand the importance of culture. But to also help each other to understand how each person is different and have individual perspectives," she said.
She also wants to "create relationships between the cultural captains and other Aboriginal students so they feel comfortable knowing if there is a problem in the school they will speak to them about it".
It's quite a change from her previous thoughts on school.
"Growing up, school wasn't really considered important because of the difficulties I faced outside which impacted my education. But for the last two years it has been one of the most important things because it started to shape my life after school once I graduate," Janaya said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: