Stu­dent hon­oured for vol­un­teer work

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Curtin University Boat Club -

WHEN he is not in the lec­ture room learn­ing, he is on the wa­ter row­ing and men­tor­ing high school stu­dents about the prospect of higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Curtin Uni­ver­sity Boat Club pres­i­dent Cameron Thorn was awarded the Pres­i­dent’s Shield for his con­tri­bu­tion to Uni­ver­sity sport in a vol­un­teer role.

On top of his stu­dent work­load, the 25year-old spends more than 30 hours a week vol­un­teer­ing.

The Bach­e­lor of Ed­u­ca­tion stu­dent has ini­ti­ated one of Australia’s first in­dige­nous row­ing pro­grams through the devel­op­ment of Curtin Ad­dress­ing Higher Ed­u­ca­tional Ac­cess Dis­ad­van­tage pro­gram. Mr Thorn said the fed­er­ally-funded pro­gram was about en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple gen­er­ally un­rep­re­sented in higher ed­u­ca­tion to par­tic­i­pate.

“It’s about rais­ing the aware­ness and as­pi­ra­tions of peo­ple to­wards higher ed­u­ca­tion, as well as in­creas­ing their ca­pa­bil­ity and el­i­gi­bil­ity to un­der­take study suc­cess­fully,” he said.

As part of the pro­gram, pre-ser­vice teach­ers work with part­ner high schools to help stu­dents cre­ate and achieve ca­reer and ed­u­ca­tional goals.

In­spired by his love for row­ing, Mr Thorn has de­vel­oped a part­ner­ship with Clon­tarf Abo­rig­i­nal Col­lege in Water­ford.

“Last year, ev­ery morn­ing I rowed past Clon­tarf and I’ve al­ways won­dered why there aren’t many Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in­volved in the sport and thought it would be great if they got in­volved,” he said.

“Row­ing is all about re­silience and de­ter­mi­na­tion and helps you feel more con­fi­dent in your own abil­i­ties. When you win or even just fin­ish a race, there’s no bet­ter feel­ing be­cause you’ve worked so hard for it.”

In part­ner­ship with Clon­tarf, Curtin Uni­ver­sity Boat Club, Row­ing WA and Curtin Sta­dium, Mr Thorn has been meet­ing stu­dents twice a week for row­ing lessons and once a week in the class­room.

“I taught stu­dents about the his­tory of the sport, the tra­di­tions of the sport; they had work books they had to com­plete and they had to ex­plain the strokes,” he said.

Mr Thorn also en­cour­aged Clon­tarf stu­dents to de­sign a row­ing uni­form that was spe­cific to them and the school.

He hopes his vol­un­teer work will mean more stu­dents will ‘ row’ their way into uni­ver­sity.

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Cameron Thorn.

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