Paige Garland (1984)
A human rights activist, passionate social justice advocate and published author, Paige was inspired by her mother – an inspiration reinforced at Fairholme – from a young age to be of service to others. “My mother Robin Garland-Sticovich was a champion, and continues to be, of many worthy causes,” Paige says.
“Her commitment to protecting those in need, whether it be environmental or humanitarian, has been a strong source of inspiration, encouragement and knowledge throughout my life.”
She says it was a theme which wove its way through her education at Fairholme – on a very personal level.
“In my final years, my family underwent substantial challenges. The Fairholme school community, its teachers and my friends were instrumental in me succeeding in my final year, with challenging personal circumstances,” Paige recalls.
“Without their deep concern for my wellbeing, willingness to help me above and beyond what would reasonably be expected of a teacher and their commitment to high standards academically, I would not have graduated with such a great academic – or personal – outcome.”
Today, Paige gives back to the global community through her Board Member position on Amnesty International Australia. “Amnesty works closely with Indigenous communities and people seeking asylum to fight discrimination, unfair detention and to demand safety and a fair justice system for all. We put pressure on the Australian government to adopt laws that respect the human rights of all our citizens and to meet our international human rights obligations.”
Paige’s professional highpoint came at a time when it had less to do with career advancement and more to do with profound personal fulfilment. Paige had worked tirelessly in the fight for freedom for Peter Greste – the journalist imprisoned in Egypt for 400 days for threatening national security.
“Meeting Lois and Juris Greste in their home and being thanked by them for my help in their hour of need was the proudest moment of my career. I was happy that it made such a difference to their family.”
Paige’s advice to students? “Embrace your school and all the opportunities it offers you. And enjoy your friends. Going to Fairholme was like being part of an extended family. Some of the friends I made at school still bring me comfort, laughter and inspire me today.”