Congratulations to Kids Hope mentor Ian Orchard OAM for his recent Medal of the Order of Australia, which was awarded for service to the community in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.
Ian has a long list of community service, including with Kids Hope and has provided the following reflections.
“It was quite a shock when I was nominated for such an award as in all the things that I do I merely endeavour to do the best that I can.
I have been involved in many activities that were recognized as part of the award including Scouts Australia, The Queensland Choir, Wesley Hospital and others and there were many great things done with each of these, but if I were to single out one of the most rewarding of all the things that I have done it would bring me back to Kids Hope.
I was the inaugural coordinator for Kids Hope at The Gap Uniting Church in Brisbane, and we work with the Gap State Primary School that has been wonderfully supportive of the programme.
I did the coordinator training in 2009 and we then set up the necessary training courses for Mentors and 8 people become active in the last term of 2009. Since that time the numbers have grown, and we have had over 25 people involved in mentoring young people which has been wonderful.
Many of the original eight who commenced the programme remain active which is a great indication that, while the major beneficiaries of the program are the children, the Mentors also gain greatly from their involvement.
Even after doing the initial training I was rather sceptical that such a programme could make the difference that was being claimed by the trainers but now I have done it for some years I have seen the difference it can make first hand. I can remember reading some of the projects written by the students I have mentored and having tears in my eyes when I read of the value that they placed in our relationship and have also been encouraged by some wonderful responses from parents and grandparents. These responses make all the hard work worthwhile.
Others have now taken over the coordinating role, but I remain active as a Mentor.
It is unfortunate that the Covid virus situation has led to a suspension of the programme but we hope it will be possible again before the end of the year as we have a number of students in their final year at Primary School and it would be nice to finish the year with them.”
To see Ian’s long list of community service click here