The Best Gift ?

Keziah Bennett-Brook and her brother . Family is the most important gift to Keziah Photo by Keziah

Everybody loves thoughtful gifts.  Including, then 17 year old, Keziah Bennett-Brook, who recalls the best present she received was a “fishy” surprise from her best friend.

Keziah explains her love of purple and how the fish was a vibrant purple fighting fish in a tank that fitted perfectly on her desk.

Although she admits she has received a lot of amazing presents in the past

“This one sticks out, because I didn’t expect anyone to ever buy me a pet and coming from my best friend it was extra special” said Keziah. She laughs at herself as she continues to explain how the fish kept her calm through the HSC and while she studied at her desk.

Keziah, now almost 19, sits comfortably in the booth amongst the social chatter of the University bar and divulges that her most prized possession is her mother, who has given her the best gift of all.

“My mum has fostered a love of education in me, she was a teacher, so education has always been of the utmost importance“ explained Keziah.

This love of education fostered by Keziah’s mum, lead to her involvement in countless school events.

Keziah was school captain, house captain, as well as captain of the volunteer committee. Not to mention also being crowned “Teachers pet, at the year ten formal” laughs Keziah.

Keziah’s face lights up, as she reminisces on her mother’s words of wisdom

“She has always said its great to get involved in extra curricular events at school, because this helps develop skills which will eventually help you in the work force”.

Keziah has carried on her enthusiasm for getting involved in her University life, by enrolling into a double degree of Arts and media and communication in 2011, as well as volunteering her time with Unicrew.

When asked what she wants to get out of her course, she hesitates and continues to explain. That at this point in her degree, she is unsure where she wants to end up.

She knows that with the skills gained through her degree, she wants to be able to redefine definitions of gender, culture and age. As well as showing the world “You can be a strong woman and you can also be a strong indigenous woman” said Keziah.

As she continues talking it’s easy to see she has a positive outlook on life. Being raised in a single parent family, Keziah does not feel that she is “damaged” or has missed out on anything.  Rather she feels she has learnt from these life experiences.

“I’m really proud of the job my mum and brother have done in helping me become who I am now. I feel I’ve got more love in my life because of the absence of a father” she says with a look of fulfillment in her eyes.

As the interview with Keziah comes to a close, she is reminded of the original question.

“Maybe I have another favorite present” she begins to reconsider.

When she looks back on her life, some of her fondest memories are the ones of her numerous family vacations to Bali “ I have glimpses of laughter and singing along with my brother” she reminisces.

Even though Keziah admits to receiving a lot of amazing presents and yes her purple fish was one of them, she concludes by stating,  “out of all the gifts I have received in my life, my family is by far, the best present!”

Keziah looking very proud as she graduates highschool. Photo by Keziah
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