WHEN Orange Anglican Grammar School student leader Corey McArdle realised some young people in Coonabarabran would start the new school year with nothing, he decided to do something to help.
So, the year 9 student led a successful two-week campaign to collect school supplies to donate to students affected by last month’s catastrophic bushfire.
“Corey approached me when school was starting back after the Christmas break,” school principal Leonard Elliot said.
“He thought it particularly sad that children like him would have to face school after losing everything.
“It was his idea to collect the stationery, but it was also in keeping with our school’s need to focus on the fires as a community disaster, to which we needed to respond as a community.”
Last week, student leaders including Corey, Georgia Hamilton, Georga Nonnenmacher and Peter Dixon, and teacher Keith Macleay, made the trip to Coonabarabran to deliver the supplies to Coonabarabran High School principal Mel Johnsen.
While in Coonabarabran the students went on a field trip with Blaze Aid coordinator Laurie Dawson to Hawkins Road, on the edge of the Warrumbungles, to see how badly the area had been affected.
They also met volunteers from Blaze Aid, a fire relief charity, who were replacing damaged fences with new fences, with materials donated by fencing companies from all over Australia.
They had lunch with the volunteers at the Blaze Aid office before returning home.
“It was a good thing for the students of Coonabarabran High, there was a great deal of material there, but it also did our students a lot of good to realise they could actually contribute directly to relief in such a highly publicised community disaster,” Mr Elliot said.
“It’s easy for young people to think they can’t do anything when something seems so large.”