An organisation I have always wanted to work with is the Newsboys Foundation. A few friends have helped with their media and so I was aware of the work Newsboys do, from when the foundation was formed 125 years ago as a society to nurture, protect, feed, educate and support the vulnerable little kids who worked as newsboys, selling papers on the dangerous streets of gold rush Melbourne.
So a phone call from CEO Sandy Shaw asking if I could write stories for a 125th anniversary publication was extremely welcome. You can read all about it, newsboy pun intended, here.
I ended up doing exactly what I had always hoped for: interviewing and then telling the stories of inspiring people backed by Newsboys to run a wide range of programs to help young people, disadvantaged kids and others who could use a leg-up to maximise their chances of success in life.
I met the astonishing Bec Scott from STREAT Cafes, and a hero of the western suburbs, schoolyard lawyer ‘Sir Vinnie’ Shin. I interviewed gifted musicians, an Indigenous leader with a revolutionary way of training up future Koori leaders, and the manager of a café staffed by deaf kids learning to interact in a hearing world.
I spoke to Berry Street’s Tom Brunzell, an education visionary, and a young Vietnamese-Australian student who could be a future prime minister but she also might end up as a dentist. I met a Somalian cricketer, Akat, who was sledged by the Queen after getting out badly on Windsor Castle’s oval, and is now a rising force for good in representing refugees in Melbourne.
Story after story, people helping the world, one person at a time, in all sorts of ways.
The Newsboys Foundation turns out to be as great as I had always suspected. It’s fantastic to be part of their storytelling team.