Local heroes go back to school

Former Socceroo and SBS presenter Craig Foster (left), Australian Idol finalist Ngaiire Joseph and media and youth brand promoter Kylie Jaye (both centre), with Kadina High School students Trent Martin and Tahlia Fusarelli, and principal Mr Stephen Lowndes.

The world truly is your oyster, even when youre a school kid from the back blocks of Goonellabah. Thats the message from former Kadina High School students-turned-celebrities Craig Foster, Ngaiire Joseph and Kylie Jaye, who were special guests at a Back To School Day on Tuesday to help celebrate the high schools 30th anniversary during Education Week.

It was really, really cool, said Ngaiire, and she wasnt talking about her experience last year on Australian Idol, but about her years spent at Kadina High School.

Originally from Papua New Guinea, Ngaiire only spent two years at Kadina High but said the encouragement and support of her music teacher Ms J (Virginia Johnstone) had a big impact on her singing career.

Many of the teachers have a lot of passion for what they do, Ngaiire said of the schools reputation for turning out success stories.

Ngaiire is currently working on an album with electronic music guru, Paul Mac, which she said was the most rewarding thing to come out of Australian Idol.

Socceroo and SBS presenter Craig Foster also had nothing but praise for Kadina High, and donated a signed Socceroo sweatshirt that will be framed and hung proudly in the school.

Media and youth brand promoter Kylie Jaye distinctly remembers her first day at Kadina High School as being pretty scary. She arrived in year 11, after spending her earlier school years at a small Christian school, and she said the contrasts were huge.

Now living in Sydney, Kylie has gone on to host over 30 television shows, runs her own media, marketing and production company called Big Red Frog, and is living proof that passion and conviction can get you places.

I think it is really great to grow up in a country town, said Kylie, and I hope we inspire the kids to go out there and do whatever it is they dream of.


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