New South Wales Runners
Wade's Indigenous heritage is with the Ngariga tribe and lives in Bodalla, NSW. Wade lives is a community where violence and drug abuse is common, and he is determined to use IMP to show people a different life and demonstrate that if you apply yourself you can achieve incredible things. He is extremely driven and very committed to training. IMP has been Wade’s target for the last few years and his determination is unquestionable, clocking up 20km training runs in the lead up to the IMP trials. Wade is the first person in his family to reach year 12 and puts reading the dictionary among his hobbies; again, with one goal in mind. “I had to come down here (to the trials) and be articulate, be formal not informal,” he said. He has harboured a burning ambition to succeed at the top level since he was a child, wanting to run for Australia since he was five years old. Wade believes that your past can make or break you and his past is what has made him.
Wayne is a Wiradjuri man from Condobolin, NSW, and very connected to the Indigenous community in Condobolin and surrounding areas, as well as Queanbeyan. Wayne initially heard about IMP through the Queanbeyan Deadly Runners, established by 2013 IMP Graduate, Georgia Gleeson. Wayne studied a Certificate II in Sport & Recreation delivered by Georgia's fiance, Michael Weir, while he was living in the ACT. Michael recommended Wayne and commented on his leadership skills, being a standout within the group. Wayne has delivered programs to primary schools in the ACT as part of his Sport & Recreation course. Like his fellow squad members, Wayne wants to show his community that if you are prepared to make changes life doesn’t have to be negative. He is particularly keen to influence the youth throughout his area and he has recently started part time employment building furniture three days a week. Wayne thinks that being selected in IMP would give him a great platform to implement some positive programs through the culture centre in Condobolin. He said that through IMP, the community can realise that if you are fit and healthy and live an active life then opportunities can present themselves.
Jesse is a Ngunnawal (Canberra, ACT) man and previously applied for IMP in 2015, narrowly missing out. Jesse grew up with his father in the Mt Druitt suburb of Hassle Grove, is highly passionate about IMP’s vision and wants to use the IMP platform to empower his community. Growing up, Jesse used to spend much of his time catching the train to Cronulla beach to swim and exercise. He found this a great way to create a positive environment for himself when life became challenging particularly within his community. Jesse is extremely committed to training and sets himself high standards to achieve. He is currently studying Physiotherapy at University. Jesse believes that success is a result of a cycle of potential, belief, action and results. He is currently training his family members to live active and healthy lifestyles.
Kristika is from the Wadi Wadi tribe of Wreck Bay, NSW (half an hr outside Nowra) and has overcome significant adversity in her life. Kristika grew up at Rec Bay mission with her mother before moving to Sydney where she faced a number of challenges. After overcoming hardship during her time in Sydney, she returned to live at Wreck Bay Mission in 2008 where she enrolled in education courses. Kristika now holds a Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Care, Certificate III in Business Admin and Certificate III in Pathology. Kristika works full time as an Aboriginal Health Worker specialising in Chronic Disease and regularly attends the Warminda Women’s Shed in Nowra exercising and mentoring other Indigenous women within the community. She has an incredible support network and is a great role model. Kristika said that she desperately wanted to be part of IMP to try overcome some barriers that exist in her life, so she can help other people do the same.