Student visitors inspire
RICHMOND River High School students were treated to a feast of high achievement yesterday as a few NSW Australians of the Year dropped in for a special visit.
Titled the Tour of Honour, the visit enabled students to meet the nation's most prestigious awards program winners and chat about what inspired them to such success.
School captain Zoe Galea said students were impressed by the achievements of the guests, particularly Corey Payne, the NSW Young Australian of the Year.
"He had such a difficult background, like many students from this school, so it was quite inspirational to see where you can go even if you haven't had the best start in life," she said.
School vice-captain Oliver James was also impressed by the Canterbury Bulldogs back rower, sharing a passion for rugby league.
"I'm a sporting person myself, so seeing him interact with kids my age reflects how I would want to influence kids if I ever got to that level," he said.
Superintendent Luke Freudenstein from Redfern Local Area Command took time out of his holidays to stand in for Australia's Local Hero, Shane Phillips, who had to pull out of the tour suddenly.
Shane heads the Tribal Warrior Association Inc, an organisation empowering youth in Redfern.
Supt Freudenstein stressed how effective Shane's program had been since being introduced.
"It's kept many of our Aboriginal boys out of the criminal justice system. We see kids on the cusp of crime, we bring them into the program, a strict routine of boxing training, get them to school and get them a job under the mentoring of Aboriginal leaders - it's as simple as that."
NSW Senior Australian of the Year Ron Allum regaled the students demonstrating the size of his revolutionary sub, the Deepsea Challenger, in which Titanic director James Cameron became the first human to tweet 11km underwater.