Channelling Resilience into Advocacy: Tremane Baxter Edwards

Driven and charismatic are just two words used to describe Tremane Baxter-Edwards, a 17 year old young man who embodies a multitude of admirable qualities; strength, authentic and resilient, to name a few. For those who have had the privilege of meeting him would all agree, he enriches the lives of everyone he interacts with and has the ability to captivate any room he walks into. Tremane’s presence leaves a lasting impression, reflecting a young individual on a remarkable journey of personal growth and impactful advocacy. If his scholastic and extracurricular commitments are anything to go by, this extraordinary young man’s journey is marked by resilience, passion, and a relentless commitment to making a difference. Hailing from the Ngarinyin and Walmajarri tribes of the Kimberley region in Wyndham, Tremane’s story is one of triumph over adversity.

At the tender age of 3 years and 2 months, Tremane faced a daunting battle with abdominal Burkitt Lymphoma—a diagnosis that necessitated leaving behind his family and community to undergo intensive treatment at PMH whilst staying at Ronald McDonald House. Despite the arduous challenges of chemotherapy, Tremane emerged as a survivor, embodying strength and courage beyond his years.

Until now, Tremane Baxter-Edwards has rarely shared his cancer story, but his recent involvement with initiatives like the Back on Track program has encouraged him to open up and inspire others with his journey of resilience and determination. In a first for Tremane, he openly shared his cancer story during an impactful appearance on the podcast, Little People Big C.

In an interview with journalist Cassie Silver, Tremane’s authenticity transcended mere storytelling, captivating listeners with the rawness of his experience. Reflecting on this conversation, Cassie noted, “What makes an incredible interview is when it turns into an authentic conversation and you stop watching the clock and just get lost in the story—that’s what Tremane does when he speaks and I can’t wait to share this season with everyone.”

Today, Tremane channels his resilience into advocacy as part of the Back on Track program powered by the Child Cancer Research Foundation. This initiative ensures that children and their siblings receive vital educational support, preventing them from falling behind academically following cancer treatment. As Tremane himself puts it, his journey is not about dwelling on past battles but about empowering others to thrive despite adversity.

Tremane receives invaluable assistance from the Back on Track program, which provides him with tutoring, mentorship, and unwavering support. Through this program, he not only gains academic guidance but also benefits from the mentorship of dedicated professionals who believe in his potential. The support he receives is instrumental in empowering him to navigate challenges and excel in his educational journey, paving the way for a bright and promising future.

Kylie Dalton, Back on Track’s Program Director, praised Tremane’s impressive progress, stating, “Seeing how our support has helped Tremane through his final high school years has been profoundly rewarding. We look forward to seeing what his future holds.”

Tremane’s passion for advocacy extends beyond cancer support. As a recipient of the AIEF-BHP Scholarship, Tremane attends Aquinas College, where he leads as the 2024 Justice, Peace & Advocacy Council (JPAC) captain. Additionally, he serves as a federal advisor on the First Nations Reference Group and the Australian Government First Nations Education Youth Advisory Group, influencing policies for remote education and job creation among Indigenous youth.

In 2023, Tremane’s exceptional contributions were honoured with a nomination for the 7NEWS Young Achievers Award and the “Abbey Forrest” Emerging Leader Award of the East Kimberley. Despite these accolades, Tremane remains grounded in his core values of determination, respect, grit, and equity for all.

His mission is clear and unwavering: “I was put on this earth to lift the voiceless, impoverished, and powerless, to stand up for what’s right for young people, Indigenous people, and regional communities—especially those who experience a very uncomfortable life, as I once did.”

Season two of Little People, Big C, shifts its message and theme to Little People and their Big Dreams, highlighting the inspiring stories of childhood cancer survivors and their journeys towards achieving remarkable goals. This series is crafted to empower and inspire its audience. As the season unfolds, listeners are immersed in stories that serve as testaments to the power of resilience and unwavering determination. Each individual featured embodies hope and courage, inspiring generations to dream big and persevere through life’s challenges.

Season 2 of Little People Big C launches soon!