Michael came to Australia from Zimbabwe in July 2015 and attended the Intensive English Centre (IEC) at North Lake Senior Campus to get his English up to scratch.
“It was the right place for me,” Michael said. “When you’re at a new school and your English isn’t very good you can feel left out. At North Lake there was lots of help and I was able to get used to Australia.”
While in the IEC Michael discovered something that changed his life – Australian Rules football. At first he watched a lot on TV… trying to get a grasp of the strange game. Initially he was attracted by Richmond then realised they were based on the other side of the country. “I picked Freo… the WA team,” he explained. Soon he was wearing a Dockers scarf to school summer and winter.
When footy was offered as an option as part of the IEC course Michael took notice. “I spent two weeks watching and then thought I’d try it out.” The footy course, run for the WAFC by former North Melbourne and East Fremantle player Liam Anthony, culminated in a real game… against Cyril Jackson Senior Campus. Michael played, kicked North Lake’s only goal with the last kick of the game and won his team’s best player award. He was hooked and he wanted more.
As the 2017 season approached a group of North Lake students, now in Year 11, expressed an interest in playing for a real club. Liam approached CBC Fremantle and a footy home was found. May and others on the North Lake staff helped to make sure things worked out.
Michael was one of the players and now has two full seasons in the WAAFL behind him. When CBC Fremantle played in a colts semi final in 2018 he was captain of the team.
The move into Year 11 was a smooth one and Michael so impressed his teachers that he was awarded a Rotary Club of Booragoon endeavour scholarship in 2016.
After completing a General course in Year 12 Michael took on a bridging course at Murdoch University – in semester two he began studying geology and hopes to work in the mining industry.
Michael believes North Lake Senior Campus is a good school for new students whether they come from overseas or Australia. “Everyone fits in. Everyone is looking for something. Everyone respects each other.”