Mildura Weekly : Friday January 31 Vol 8 No 13
www.milduraweekly.com.au 20 Mildura Weekly – 31/01/14 IN THE RIVERLAND THIS WEEK By BEV STORY WAIKERIE teenager Ian Smith has proved his lead- ership credentials in the past year – completing a gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and being awarded his school’s leadership prize for Year 12. The son of Penny and Richard Smith, Ian attend- ed Prince Alfred College in Adelaide as a boarder from years nine to 12, and was voted by his peers to win the Frank Hunter Prize for Leadership in 2013. He was a day prefect and a boarding prefect during his time at the school. The award stated that Ian had shown initiative in many of the activities he undertook at school – which contributed to both awards. In 2012 Ian, along with classmates, visited Cambo- dia where they volunteered building two homes as part of the Habitat for Humanity program. While there he also visited the Sunrise Orphanage – something that moved him deeply – making him realise just how little some people have. That meant raising money before leaving South Australia, and Ian used what was at hand in order to do so – conducting an Oranges for Orphans fund- raising, selling 3kg bags of oranges from his parents fruit block to students and their families from his school. Bound for adventure That helped fulfil the service and volunteering re- quirements of the Duke of Ed- inburgh’s Award, while travel- ling to Cambodia with several of his classmates accounted for the adventure element. “The school had a trip to Cambodia – to bring the costs of the trip down we had to fund-raise for it,” Ian said. “I gave a percentage of the pro- ceeds to the fund-raising and some to the cost of the orang- es, and raised around $1500. “I thought it would pro- mote citrus in the Riverland and healthy eating, so that was one of the things that I did. The next fund-raiser was a movie night - James Bond’s ‘Sky Fall’.” Young Ian a born leader Ian and some fellow stu- dents spent their second week in Cambodia at the Sunrise Orphanage run by Geraldine Cox. “I would describe it as a life-changer,” he said. “Com- ing from a background in ru- ral South Australia where we have plenty of food, access to education and then seeing these poor kids that didn’t have anything. They didn’t have the opportunity to gain education.” Ian said he was in Cam- bodia during ‘Child Week,’ where the government had actively promoted trying to get kids back in school. “Kids should be in school – not working – that was something the experience taught me,” Ian said. “We have grown with the parents being providers, and sometimes take that for granted. “The lady we were build- ing the house for – her job was to pick up rubbish, and she would earn 30 cents a day.” During their time in Cam- bodia, they helped promote a campaign that called for the lifting of the minimum wage to $150 annually. “The family that we were working with said they had the choice of paying their rent or eating,” Ian said. “I think what would happen was the parents would usually work extremely hard, and then they were able to pay rent. “The United Nations gives out food packs. It just seems a bit silly that we have enough food in Australia, and they have barely any.” The ‘chill-out’ spot Back in Adelaide at school, Ian designed a com- munity garden for college boarders – to complete the skills component of the award. It is a “chill-out spot” for boarders, has a veggie garden and a fire pit. Ian said being a boarder for four years of his school life had taught him indepen- dence and responsibility. “I guess it has taught me independence and given me empathy with the interna- tional students,” he said. They don’t have the op- portunity to go home and visit family and friends on a regular basis throughout the school year. For the health and fit- ness part of his award, Ian played tennis regularly for 12 months, and completed the 6km City to Bay run in 2012. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an international development program to en- courage and recognise young people from the ages of 14 to 25 – making it all the more re- markable that Ian completed the requirements of the gold award at such a young age. He was presented with his award by Governor Kevin Scarce at Government House – also meeting Premier Jay Weatherill at the function. He is now hoping the study international relations at university this year – large- ly influenced by his time in Cambodia. “At the end of year 11, I just knew I wanted to do something like that,” he said. “I have always had the inter- est in travelling and different cultures. I would love to have a career in international rela- tions. That trip has given me a global perspective.” Ian was also a leader for a year six school camp to Scotts Creek in 2012 – both helping with planning and mentoring the younger students while there. “The main thing was be- coming a role model, partici- pating and overall (gaining) leadership and growing with it,” he said of the award. “That helped me becom- ing a prefect – I learnt a lot about people.” WAIKERIE teenager Ian Smith has proved his lead- ership credentials in the past year – completing a gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and being awarded his school’s leadership prize The son of Penny and Richard Smith, Ian attend- – which contributed to both an Oranges for Orphans fund- • WELL DONE: Waikerie’s Ian Smith receives his gold Duke of Edinburgh Award from South Australian Governor, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce at Government House in Adelaide (LEFT), and is seen here helping build a house in Cambodia as part of an overseas aid project.
Friday January 24 2014 Vol 8 No 12
Friday February 7 2014 Vol 8 No 14