Compassion. Never without a smile, these Circular Head students are among the first to assist a friend in need.
Smithton Primary School students Kelsey Williams, 11, and Sophie Buckby, 12, and Circular Head Christian School student Solomon Tuxworth, 12, have been nominated for The Fred Hollows Humanity Award.
The humanitarian award recognises grade six students who demonstrate compassion, integrity and kindness towards others.
Nominated by teacher Despina King, Solomon knows kindness is a crucial part of community.
“When people are feeling down it’s really important to show kindness and compassion towards them,” he says.
“If you are always angry it will affect your mental health and it will affect others.
“Dad told me that one day he saw me on the playground helping someone out, I had seen him sitting by himself and I talked to him and afterwards [the boy] gave me a high five.”
And this is not a rare occurrence but an action that Solomon often demonstrates.
Nominated by teacher Jill Barnard, Kelsey demonstrates leadership through her involvement in the Indigenous and Proud project, Launching into Learning programs, and as an Aussie Sports leader.
“I think it’s important to make others smile and help them out if they need it,” she says.
Leading younger classes during daily physical education, Kelsey says she has connected with younger students who now feel comfortable to turn to her for support.
Researching Fred Hollows earlier in the year as part of a class project, Kelsey says receiving this nomination is an honour.
Mr Hollows was an ophthalmologist who dedicated his life to bettering the lives of those in remote Australia and third world countries. Through his work and the ongoing contributions of The Fred Hollows Foundation, more than two million people across 25 countries have had their sight restored.
“To know what he did for Australia and other countries, it’s extra special to have that connection.”
Sophie, who was nominated by teacher Kate Partridge, represents her peers on the Student Council as an Aussie Sports leader and as a part of the Launching into Learning programs
“I feel honoured and privileged [to be nominated], and excited to do it with Kelsey,” she says.
The pair, who are close friends, have shared the same class since kindergarten with this year being the first year to not be in the same class.
“I help the teacher out a lot. I like seeing people smile so I look after people when they are upset or need a friend.”
Founder of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Gabi Hollows says she is “constantly inspired” by the actions of award recipients.
“Fred used to say the basic attribute of mankind is to look after each other,” she says.
“He would be so proud to know the Fred Hollows Humanity Award is recognising students who are demonstrating this belief in their own lives.”
The Circular Head trio will be formally recognised at a presentation in Hobart later this year where one recipient will have the opportunity to allocate $5000 to one of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s programs. Last year’s recipients chose to support the foundation’s work in Cambodia, Kenya and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia.