By Mitchell Clarke
A Berwick student has donated almost 100 footy boots to disadvantaged Indigenous students at a remote Western Australian school.
Beaconhills College Year 9 student Noah Kemp decided he would focus his ‘personal best’ project on giving back to those in need.
Pictures from his grandparent’s holiday to the Northern Territory were the inspiration behind the noble pursuit.
“I saw photos from my grandparent’s holiday of Indigenous kids playing footy in bare feet and I felt really sorry for them,” he said.
“I couldn’t believe they were playing without shoes, so I thought I could try and make a difference.”
Noah’s aunt knew the principal of an Indigenous school in north Western Australia, who was more than happy to jump on board and accept the boots on behalf of some very excited kids.
With the idea brainstormed and all planned out, Noah utilised the power of social media to spread his message across the community.
“I put a post to Facebook and got people to share,” he explained.
“I received a lot of support from the community, and a lot of people were happy to donate shoes. My original goal was 100 but due to Covid-19, we ended up with 96.
“I was just amazed and felt very thankful and happy that I was able to make them all happy and also reach my goal.”
Glenn Cameron from Cameron’s Trucking sponsored the project and transported the boots across the Nullarbor and up to the school.
“The school was just amazed to receive them. They were all very thankful,” Noah said.
A footy fan himself, Noah said it was “so important” for the community to help Indigenous communities, and said something small can go so far.
“It’s so important … we should really look after them, they are our traditional owners and they’re like our family,” Noah said.
“It’s the little things that we take for granted – like having footy boots – that they are really grateful for.
“If you don’t play with footy boots, you’ll get blisters and sore feet.”
Beaconhills College deputy head of Year 9 Kerry Russell said the personal best project was an “epic experience” for students, as they embarked on a semester long journey exploring their passions.
“There are many new skills gained along the way that range from physical skills, to the ability to manage their time and improve in independence,” Ms Russell said.
“Students face many challenges which helps in their understanding of their resilience and their ability to overcome hurdles.
“Some students choose to help others in their community which demonstrates their empathy throughout their project. It is wonderful to see the variety of students’ projects each year which can guide and shape their futures.”