Young humanitarians make a difference

FOUR Eastern Shore students have been recognised for their compassion, integrity and kindness at the Fred Hollows Humanity Award, announced at Parliament House in October.

A national initiative of The Fred Hollows Foundation, the Humanity Award acknowledges year six students who follow in Fred’s footsteps by demonstrating humanitarian values toward others.

The Eastern Shore recipients included Hayley Davis from St John’s Catholic School, Jordan Wilton from Gagebrook Primary School and Zachery Fitzgerald and Oliver Quan from John Paul II Catholic Primary School.

With the 2017 event seeing a total of 419 students nominated nationally, Gabi Hollows said the “endless ideas and energy of young people” continued to act as a source of inspiration.

“It was wonderful to meet some of the students who are making a positive difference in their communities,” she said.

“Fred would have been incredibly proud of the contribution these students are making to society and of The Foundation for recognising and encouraging them to help others, no matter how big or small their actions.

“To all of this year’s Humanity Award recipients and to the 2017 Tasmanian Junior Ambassador, I offer my warmest congratulations and my heartfelt thanks.”

Hayley was nominated by her teacher Kevin James Treweek for her ability to include peers who may otherwise be socially isolated.

Hayley is a friend and tutor to a young girl who has Down syndrome and supports her in every aspect of her schooling, making sure she is always safe and secure at school.

“The combination of her personal qualities and social skills underpin Hayley’s leadership ability,” Mr Treweek said.

“Her compassion to assist disenfranchised students highlights the benevolent qualities that encompass her approach to life.”

As school captain, Hayley has also made a significant contribution to work on social justice issues and she willingly leads humanitarian projects.

Jordan was nominated for his work in helping develop safety maps of the area, which lead to businesses putting up signs to show children where they can go if they need help.

He also cut off his ponytail to raise more than $1000 for charity.

Zachery was nominated for his “exceptional ability” to make everyone around him feel included and welcomed.

He is described as being kind, caring and patient, setting an example to others on how to be a good friend.

Oliver was nominated for his all-round positive attitude and ability to help his peers solve conflicts quietly and carefully.

The Fred Hollows Foundation also named Dominic College year six vice-captain Kitean Aitken the 2017 Tasmanian Junior Ambassador.

As a junior ambassador, Kitean will be able to extend his humanity by allocating $5000 – donated by charity partner Specsavers – to one of The Foundation’s programs to end avoidable blindness.

Kitean has chosen to support The Outback Eye Service, which delivers eye health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote western New South Wales.

The Fred Hollows Humanity Award will return to Tasmania in 2018.

For more information, visit www.hollows.org/humanityaward.

Caption: Fred Hollows Humanity Award recipients with The Fred Hollows Foundation founding director Gabi Hollows and Department of Education secretary Jenny Gale.