2018 Oakhill College Captain, Alexander Murrie, will spend 2019 as a Lasallian Volunteer at a remote Aboriginal Community in Balgo, Western Australia where he will look to make a positive social impact.
Balgo is a small community with a population of approximately 600. It lies in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, almost 260km from the nearest major town.
The Lasallian Volunteer program is a personal development and vocational opportunity open to those aged over 18, including teachers, non-teaching staff and young adults, who are interested in living out the Lasallian mission. The Program operates in many parts of the world with a connection to the De La Salle Brothers. Volunteers choose to dedicate one or two years of their life to give back and live and work in community to benefit others.
As part of the Program, Alex will have the opportunity to support the students at Luurnpa Catholic School, immerse himself in the many aspects of school life, as well as in the disadvantaged Wirrimanu Aboriginal community and culture.
Alex was one of almost 70,000 students to sit for the HSC last year. His results were testament to hard work and dedication applied during his time at Oakhill College.
“My goal is to eventually study medicine so that I can live in similar communities to Balgo and provide assistance where it is really needed. Following the year in Balgo, I will commence undergraduate physiotherapy at ACU (Australian Catholic University) which will form the beginning of the long path to becoming a doctor.” said Alex.
In July 2018, Alex applied for the Volunteer Program after hearing about Balgo when he was in Year 8. “I became intrigued about the community when I researched Balgo for a school assignment,” said Alex.
“During Year 11, I was fortunate to participate in the ‘Lasallians Without Borders’ Team India Volunteer Trip through Oakhill. This involved completing manual labour at the Lasallian schools in India during the day and playing sport and games with the Indian students at night. From this experience I knew that I wanted to help in disadvantaged communities.” Alex has also been inspired by his brother Matt Murrie, who has been in Papua New Guinea for the last two years as a Lasallian Volunteer.
Alex hopes to gain an understanding about the Aboriginal Community and their culture, while at the same time appreciate the difference that giving time can make in others’ lives. He will be working and living with fellow volunteers from around the world.
“While I am apprehensive about leaving my family and friends and the comfort of Sydney life, I am incredibly excited to become a part of this community and live out the passion for helping others fostered at Oakhill,” said Alex.
Oakhill College is a leading independent Catholic school for boys from Years 7-12 and girls from Years 11-12. The College provides a holistic education in the Lasallian tradition.
“The Lasallian Volunteer Program aims to develop an increased sense of services to young people, especially those disadvantaged and marginalised,” said Br Steve Hogan, Principal of Oakhill College. “The Lasallian Principles of Oakhill College, as well as the Program itself, have inspired many of Oakhill’s students to develop confidence and skills whilst caring for the less fortunate in our world.”