The Newlands campus celebrated Mother's Day by inviting CEO of Enlighten Education, Dannielle Miller, along to address students and their mothers at a special breakfast.
Year 8 students Chloe Lau and Laura Smith wrote the following piece about their morning with Dannielle:
At only the age of 2, Dannielle Miller suffered third degree burns on her right arm, which resulted in several major operations. Although the scar is still visible today, she no longer despises or is embarrassed about this part of her body, but is happy and proud to reveal what she has overcome.
Dannielle visited us this morning at Haileybury's annual Mother's Day breakfast and taught a valuable lesson to students and mothers alike. She explained how she conquered her self-consciousness and taught us to treasure our bodies no matter what flaws we possess. Dannielle gave us one task this Mother's Day; to feel good about ourselves and be admirable role models, causing those around us to feel the same. This kind of mindset should be acknowledged world-wide as it is an inspiration to growing teens and girls struggling with their body image.
During her years of adolescence, Dannielle's scar affected her not only physically but mentally as well. After being told by her grade 4 crush that the mark on her arm was "gross" and "ugly", she began to hide it by wearing jumpers and skivvies even during summer for many years. Later on in Dannielle's life, when she took on the role as a school counsellor, she realised that to make students feel good about themselves, she had to unveil the part of her that she had kept hidden for so long. She had to be confident in herself and her body to make a difference. Dannielle Miller now accepts that it was not her grade 4 crush's fault for her self-doubt, but instead was hers due to caring about others' opinions. As the saying goes: "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me." She now is an inspirational leader in modern Australian society and has had a profound impact on many women in today's world.
Laura, Dannielle and Chloe at the Mother's Day Breakfast
Photo courtesy of the Dandenong Journal