BLOOMFIELD and CYMS junior player, and now first grade Canberra Raiders player, Jack Wighton returned home for a special talk yesterday.
He teamed up with Raiders team-mate Joel Thompson and actor Luke Carroll to pay a visit to students at Cootes Community Centre, Glenroi.
The indigenous men talked about how background and circumstances do not matter, it is hard work and education that is key to achieving your goals.
“When they see someone achieve something it gives them hope,” Mr Wighton said.
“It’s good seeing the kids.”
It was a visit to his own class at Bowen Public School when he was younger that he said also gave him hope for the future.
“I still remember a couple of Raiders players coming to Bowen when I was in year 4,” he said.
Mr Thompson said yesterday’s visit was a great opportunity to give students messages on how to achieve their goals and dreams.
“I came from pretty humble beginnings and with hard work and commitment you can get there,” he said.
Actor Mr Carroll is the current Playschool presenter and has also acted in Redfern Now, Stone Bros, Home and Away and recently named 2013 male actor of the year in the Deadly Awards.
“It’s to show kids, especially indigenous kids, that they can aspire to anything they want to,” he said.
Mr Carroll said he grew up with a mother that wanted her children to be well educated.
“With an education I could forge any sort of career I wanted,” he said.
The indigenous men are part of the Link-Up NSW program to bring their stories of achievement to children just like they once were.
Link-Up NSW researcher Aletha Rowan said the program travels across the state to bring positive messages to indigenous students.”It’s to help people of Aboriginal heritage who were removed from their family now get back with their family and culture,” she said.
“It gives them a sense of identity.
“The more we do it helps break down the stereotypes.”