Hurley Gatley - Hurley has Eyes on the Future

Hurley has Eyes on the Future

Written by Journalist, Angela Norval - Bundaberg Today, Friday June 25, 2021

For St Luke’s Anglican School Year 12 student Hurley Gatley, supportive parents and a welcoming school environment have combined to help her form a clear focus for her future.

Hurley considers herself lucky to have been part of the St Luke’s Anglican School community since kindergarten, meaning she has known the teachers at school almost her whole life.

She said it was lovely to grow up in the school and develop long-lasting friendships, and has also appreciated that her parents allowed her to always follow her interests.

It is these interests, particularly in local politics and protecting the environment through turtle conservation, that have helped shape a clear future direction for Hurley.

She wants to study political science and gender after graduating.

Following a quote from author Bell Hooks, ‘what we do is more important than what we say or believe’, Hurley said it was crucial that young people had a voice when it came to politics and the environment.

“We are aware of what is happening around us, and it’s our world,” she said.

“Our voices can help pave the way to the future we want!

“Growing up in Bundaberg, I’ve been so privileged to grow up in a community and environment which has beautiful beaches and outdoor spaces.

“I’ve also been lucky enough to grow up alongside turtles at Mon Repos Conservation Park locally and that has allowed me to be fully submerged learning about many environmental issues faced.

“As I got older and recognised that so many different factors link into environmental issues, and to help the environment we have to help those aspects as well and became more politically aware.”

It is this commitment to being politically aware that has seen Hurley volunteering at Mon Repos for as long as she can remember. 

Also volunteering through the Australian Youth Climate Coalition has allowed her to meet lots of like-minded people.

With a strong focus on her future, as well as plenty of engagement in a school and community she loves, Hurley knows exactly where she is going and remains grateful for all the support she has received.

“My future aspirations have been supported by lots of members of staff at St Luke’s,” she said.

“All of my teachers in senior have done so much to help.