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Video captures students’ sense of social responsibility

By Patrick Nelson

Tyson Abbott … “Watching people walk away with a smile on their face is always good for me” Tyson Abbott … “Watching people walk away with a smile on their face is always good for me”

Students around the Territory involved in CDU’s Aspire Program have told of their experiences as volunteers in a short video that was launched to celebrate the recent National Student Volunteer Week.

The consensus was that contributing to a community or organisation had been a skill-building and fulfilling experience.

Tyson Abbott, a Year 10 scholarship recipient in Alice Springs, said his experience in the Salvation Army Thrift Shop had given him a fresh perspective on other people’s lives.

“Volunteering is great because at the end of the day it makes me happy to know I’ve made somebody else’s life, or day, better,” he said.

“Watching people walk away with a smile on their face is always good for me.”

More than 20 Aspire students from Darwin, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs contributed as volunteers in activities including surf life-saving, umpiring, literacy support and working in retail outlets.

Community volunteering is a compulsory element of the Aspire Program, which helps students from a diversity of backgrounds achieve their best results in secondary school and raise their aspirations to pursue tertiary study.

Jenny Eddy coordinates the Aspire Program, a partnership between CDU and NT secondary schools.

“We support students' progression into tertiary study through a range of activities that build and strengthen their personal and educational development, grow their leadership potential and nurture in them a sense of social responsibility for their community,” she said.

The video was launched in Darwin to celebrate National Student Volunteer Week. It can be viewed via the Aspire website: www.cdu.edu.au/aspire.