‘Stick with it’ David’s advice for success

Headshot of Jakeb Waddell
Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
St Mary’s College Broome graduate David Ningella.
Camera IconSt Mary’s College Broome graduate David Ningella. Credit: Broome Advertiser, Jakeb Waddell

A graduate who moved to Broome from his tiny community in the Kimberley outback has shed light on the struggles of transitioning from a population of less than 400 to 14,000.

David Ningella was one of seven students originally from remote areas across the region who completed his high school education in the North West town last month.

The 17-year-old is from the indigenous community of Looma, 200km east of Broome, with just 374 residents.

After finishing Year 7 at his local school, David’s mother made the decision to send him to St Mary’s College, with the hope of giving him more opportunity to excel at his studies and sport.

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The youngster said it was “very overwhelming” when he first made the move, but he was glad he’d stuck it out.

“I wasn’t used to town life and when I first moved to Broome it was very different,” he said. “I did struggle a lot at the start and was lucky I had my older sister here to help me get through.

“I would feel homesick all the time and sport was the main thing for me, so I would play sport or hang out with my friends to take my mind off thinking about home.”

Although he struggled with schoolwork at first, David eventually discovered a passion for engineering, enrolling in junior footy and making some pocket money on the side as a boundary umpire for the West Kimberley Football League.

He recently completed his Certificate II in Engineering through North Regional TAFE and said he hoped to forge a career in the mining industry.

His advice to children who found themselves in similar situations is simple — stick it out.

“Make friends, keep yourself busy, have fun while you’re away,” he said.

“Home is not going to run away, it’s there, you can always go back and visit, so stick with your school and get the best out of yourself.”

A total of 128 students graduated last month across SMC and Broome Senior High School.

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