King’s School year 12 student Alex Roberts had quite a story to tell at last year’s presentation day.
When Alex was six, his neighbour, Laurie, was so grateful for Alex’s efforts into helping him out that Laurie began collecting aluminium cans for his ‘little hero’ to recycle for some pocket money.
As Alex and Laurie became friends, their recycling business boomed and when Laurie moved into a retirement village, the other residents chipped in to help Alex and the environment.
When Laurie’s life came to an end, Alex wanted to honour his old mate and decided the cans should be recycled not for pocket money, but for a good cause, and the SOS orphanage in Vietnam was Alex’s cause of choice.
Working with then deputy headmaster Peter Allison, the whole school community soon became involved, and Alex was acknowledged for his efforts with the Pride of Australia medal in 2007.
Upon entering senior school, Alex’s tutor, Andrew West, suggested the programme expand and Dalmas House began sponsoring a child in Africa with the proceeds of the recycling programme.
Alex’s housemaster, Ben Gavan, also lent his support and as the programme continued to grow, storage space had to be found for the used cans, which helped sponsor five children by the end of 2009.
For his thirteenth birthday, Alex made a presentation to The Hills Shire Council which was so impressive that Councillor Robyn Preston ensured recycling bins were placed at all of the Council’s sporting fields.
Alex is also in his second term as a member of the Hills Shire Council’s Youth Committee, a registered volunteer with Hills Community Care and is a bushcare volunteer, helping with University of NSW research projects by monitoring nesting boxes for small birds and bats in his local area.
The King’s School has been supportive of Alex’s projects, and awarded him Full Colours for Service early last year, the first time the award has been presented in King’s 181 year history.
The ‘cans for kids’ project has now been going strong for four years but as Alex heads into his final year at The King’s School, he is looking to pass the baton to the next generation of eco-warriors to ensure environmentalism can help some of Africa’s needy children.
If you can assist Alex in maintaining his and Laurie’s legacy, please call 9872 1234.