In 2010 I retired from work, but not life! With the love and support of my wife and family, I wanted to spend a part of my retirement repaying the community for the fortunate life I have had, in particular helping children who may come from difficult backgrounds and who needed an adult role model to give them support in their lives. I wanted to help these children to become self-sufficient, confident and have the opportunities to become the best version of themselves as adults. My aim was to find one child to support and to help him to understand that he can do whatever he sets his mind to, providing he is prepared to work hard, has strong support, which I was prepared to give him, and accept that there will be hiccups along the journey, but together, we would conquer them.
PRESIDENT AND MENTOR
Little did I know that I would meet so many adults, who shared my dream, with a wide range of experiences and skills which has enabled us to support and inspire children over the past 10 years. These volunteers, without having read the Mandela quotes below, live them in their daily lives which makes our Club great, and me feel lucky and humbled to know them.
For me, the great Nelson Mandela, with his ability to forgive, inspire and lead, has always been a personal inspiration. The Achievers Club WA’s beliefs, values and practices are what we live by and are similar to Mandela’s values:
“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.
Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.
It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.
There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."
There are many rewards in being involved in our Club. To have had the privilege to meet and share time with so many wonderful, selfless people (volunteers) from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences who have become friends. To witness how they generously support children who come from low socio-economic backgrounds and to see improvements in these students’ confidence, and earn ‘personal bests’ in a school exam, improve their grades, and ultimately gain admission to TAFE or University and most of all be better equipped to meet life’s challenges, is a an indescribable feeling to be celebrated by all.
For me, seeing that we are making a difference to peoples’ lives, meeting our students and their parents, volunteers, teachers, sponsors and supporters has been, and will continue to be a privilege and the highlight of my retirement.