The first in her family to graduate high school, Layneisha Sgro has compiled an impressive list of academic achievements including the highest ATAR ever scored by an Indigenous student in Western Australia.
Karina Marlow

8 Jul 2016 - 10:03 PM  UPDATED 9 Jul 2016 - 12:20 AM

Hailing from Broome, the proud Nyiyaparli, Bardi and Jabbir Jabbir woman travelled over two thousand kilometres from home to study at the prestigious Presbyterian Ladies College in Perth.

Layneisha was awarded an Indigenous Youth Leadership Program scholarship at the College to pay for her boarding and school fees for Year 8 to Year 12. Out of the forty students that applied, Layneisha was the first preference.

During her first year at the College her proud mother, Lisa Coffin, described her as "committed and serious when it comes to her school grades" and said that although being away from home was hard she was "determined to continue her studies and complete Year 12".

Layneisha was a stand-out from an early age. She completed her junior schooling at Broome Primary School receiving the Runner-Up Dux award at the end of Year 7. After starting at the College in 2011, Layneisha was a dedicated student and benefited from the mentoring and personal development opportunities provided to her. 


She was selected to participate in the 2013 National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy where she was one of 50 students who worked together to tackle issues such as Constitutional Recognition, refugees and asylum seekers, suicide prevention, climate change and “Closing the Gap”.

Over the twelve-week program the students worked on awareness campaigns around these issues and through social media, newspapers and radio they reached tens of thousands.  The program provided an outlet for Layneisha to share her passion for helping people overcome issues like drugs, alcohol, lack of education, violence and incarceration,

“NIYLA taught me that if you’re passionate about something, you can make a difference,” she told Pro Bono Australia.

“I also learned to be more trusting and open with people, and this allowed me to make so many long-lasting friendships.”

She was also chosen as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Representative for the 2014 Planning Group for National Youth Week and was a member of the 2015 United Nations Youth Australia Aotearoa Leadership Tour. 

Layneisha shone during her final year of school finishing with an ATAR of above 92, placing her in the top 8% of students in Australia. She received a Future Footprints Award as well as the General Exhibition Award for Indigenous students from the Government of Western Australia for her fantastic results. Back home in Broome she was also awarded the Youth of the Year at the Kullarri NAIDOC Festival.

She is now studying Commerce, and is planning to continue her studies in Law, at the University of Melbourne where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Scholarship. When she is not busy with her studies, Layenisha loves spending time with friends and family.

During her time at University she has also been active in her own personal development through the Career Trackers program as well as campaigning against climate change with other Indigenous young people through SEED.  

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