Throughout her first few years of school, Grace struggled to write legibly. She had her eyes tested and was also tested for learning disabilities. Finally at the age of 13, she was diagnosed with essential tremor (ET).
“This diagnosis felt like both a blessing and an unshakeable curse,” she said. “Although it ruled out other far more sinister explanations for my constant hand and leg tremors, it felt like I had just received a life sentence.”
As a college student now, she is grateful for the lessons her condition has taught her. She said she has gained a unique sense of perspective, empathy and drive to achieve. She has accepted her body’s limitations and celebrates her ability to be independent in doing tasks which others consider to be mundane.
Her ability to persevere can best be exemplified in her community service and personal achievements. For the past five years she has been a volunteer camp leader for children in need. She also has volunteered through the Brisbane Girls Debating Union, Queensland Debating Union and Greater Public Schools Debating Association to provide volunteer mentorship in debating to high school students in her local community.
Grace is a debater herself and was named to the University of Queensland’s World University Debating Championship team in 2022. In 2023, she was named Australian Government New Colombo Plan Scholar in recognition of her leadership potential, adaptability and resilience, ability to build connections and academic achievement.