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Over the summer period, while many Year 12 leavers are busy planning holiday trips, a number of graduates from The Scots College have opted to spend their summer break in a less conventional way. The HSC behind them, the former students are spending the summer giving back to the community, aiding the disadvantaged, travelling on church missions, and working to protect the environment.

Locally, 17 year old Austin Irwin, has opted to work with his local church during the summer to help out with holiday camps, reaching out to the local community children and providing parents an opportunity for respite during the summer break. Further afield, 18 year old Woollahra resident Adam Stanley will be serving at Brooms Head on the NSW Central Coast, providing a summer camp for country children visiting the area.

Overseas, Andreas Thoma, from Dover Heights, will be working for a Cambodian orphanage, as well as working with the Jesuits in the Philippines to serve the Indigenous people in Mindanao. “My family and I try and use our holiday trips as opportunities to serve whenever possible”, says Andreas. “I have found it to be a great learning experience and very eye opening.”

Balmain local Oliver Belford, 18, will be using his ‘down time’ to be involved in an ongoing conservation program in Indonesia. “I chose to do this as part of my summer break because it is an opportunity to use the time that I now have available to hopefully make a difference in a part of our world that is in coming under serious threat, and I still get to travel! I will be working with a marine scientist based in England on the rejuvenation of the reefs in and around Indonesia, testing the application of different artificial reef building techniques, as well as working with the locals to find more ecologically friendly ways for them to interact with the marine ecosystem.”

The Principal at The Scots College, Dr Ian PM Lambert, has commended the boys for their attitudes and selflessness. “These boys can strive for success and work towards a transformative and positive future in the face of challenging complexity. Their challenge is to go out there and make a difference. Now is the time to share their life and ideas with the world.”

“Always remember that the difference between a successful achiever and a fine man, is that fine men endure.”

Photo: Austin Irwin (centre) and Andreas Thoma (right), two Scots students who will be donating their time to worthy causes over the summer break.

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