Cameron Streeter Class of 2017 has had a busy and fulfilling past two years since leaving school. It was during Year 12 retreat at Oakhill College, that he heard about placements being offered for volunteers to travel overseas and participate in service opportunities to help poorer communities. Cameron had no idea what he wanted to do after school but did know he wasn’t ready for university. Cameron had been involved in service at Oakhill, he was a Lasallian Youth Leader and had been on the Vietnam and Indian Immersion trips where he enjoyed the sense of purpose he felt giving back to the community. He knew he wanted to continue his service and the chance to go overseas for a year appealed to him, so he applied to Lasallian Mission Services.
He was recruited as a volunteer and went to Papua New Guinea to work at Lasalle Technical College – Hohola. His plan was to go for one year, but ended up staying for two. One of his duties was to run The Breakfast Club which cooks breakfast for about 150 underprivileged students daily. Cameron and other volunteers would go to the market each day to purchase the fresh ingredients and prepare the food by hand in the afternoon. Early each morning they’d cook the fresh meals for the students, ready to be served before 7.30am.
Oakhill College is one of the biggest supporters of The Breakfast Club. The money raised throughout the year at Oakhill is helping people every day to break the poverty cycle. Many students come from families who have never worked, as they don’t have the skills to gain employment. A number of them walk many hours each day from their home to the Technical College, have their only meal of the day at the Breakfast Club, go to school and then walk home. Because of The Breakfast Club, they can study and will gain the equivalent of a TAFE Certificate in either electrical, mechanics, hospitality, administration, carpentry or metal welding and improve their prospects for the future.
Cameron also had other responsibilities in the college such as facilitating camps and retreats for students, assisting the Religion and English departments in class, running afternoon sports, assisting a Year 9 Homeroom and preparation for daily school devotions.
The students who attend Lasalle Technical College are extremely grateful to Oakhill College, Cameron and the Lasallian Mission Services team who work tirelessly to help disadvantaged families. Joyce Pove, a Year 11 student at the College said, “If it weren’t for Oakhill College and the volunteers, we wouldn’t be having breakfast every morning. We are really grateful and appreciate your help towards us”.
Cameron completed two year’s service in PNG and was then offered the opportunity to become a Youth Minister. He is currently studying to become a Primary School Teacher at ACU and is the Lasallian Youth Minister at Lasalle Catholic College Bankstown, a job he loves. Cameron is grateful for the opportunities that he has been given, particularly at Oakhill. He feels that his life was going down a very different path but through his volunteering work, he has found his true sense of purpose. Cameron says ‘since leaving Oakhill, working in PNG has opened my eyes to many realities in this world, and inspired me to try and make a difference, even if it’s only in one life’.
Make a difference he has, and to more than one life.