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At St Peter’s College, we value service and the young men who seek to serve their School and wider community. We wish to shine a light on those individuals, year groups and Houses and acknowledge their contribution to improving the world we live in. This week, we are shining a light on the service of Daniel Jesudason (Year 12), who has recently been chosen to represent UNICEF Australia as a Young Ambassador for South Australia. In his role he will be seeking out opportunities to speak up for children’s right wherever possible. Below, Daniel shares how he became involved with UNICEF, what he hopes to achieve this year and what recommendations he would have for others looking to serve their community.

How did you get involved with UNICEF, and what drew you to UNICEF’s work in particular?

As a Year 7 student, I went on a philanthropic trip to Fiji, volunteering for an international symposium on healthcare. The symposium, which focused on promoting kidney-based healthcare in the pacific islands, opened my eyes to the adversity faced by children in less fortunate circumstances than ourselves. After this experience, I felt an obligation to play my part in addressing global healthcare issues for children and sought volunteering opportunities. Extensive research led me to the work of UNICEF, a global organisation founded on advocating on behalf of every child. I have now been working with the organisation for just under four years.

What do you hope to achieve this year as a UNICEF Young Ambassador?

 During my tenure as a UNICEF Ambassador, I wish to take the opportunity to visit schools around the state, particularly those in disadvantaged areas that have experienced historical hardships. I intend to listen to the voices of the students in these schools, and utilise my platform to advocate for greater social change in a way these individuals may be unable to; for example, by reporting my findings to the Department of Education or the SACE Board, to ensure their voices are taken into consideration by individuals in a position to initiate change.

 What advice would you give other students starting their service learning journey?

To all students intending to get involved in a service initiative, I have two key take-aways to making the most of this opportunity.

Connect service to your passions. You will undoubtedly gain a much richer outcome from your service actions by connecting your service to your passions, the aspects of your life you find most rewarding. Previous recipients of the highest service honour (the service learning medal) have all connected their passions to their service. Alex Roe (HWK 2020) channeled his passion for music by playing piano at retirement homes, while David Quan (HWK 2018) connected his love of Basketball to his service endeavours as a club Basketball coach.

Strive for excellence. Service isn’t about ticking off a box or completing an arbitrary number of hours. Service is about making a difference. It is unique in that it is accessible to anyone. While I may not be a talented rower, or an amazing musician, or an intellectual genius, I have still been able to succeed in my service learning initiatives. Service necessitates work ethic, motivation, and drive. Nothing else. Success in service is accessible to everyone in our Saints community, so I implore you to make the most of this chance. The world will thank you.

If you would like to find out more about the Service Learning Program or find volunteer opportunities that you could get involved in, check out the Service Learning sharepoint page.

Antonia Mackay
Service Learning Program Coordinator