An Oakhill College graduate says his personal experience of seeing poverty first hand in the Philippines and India has inspired him to spend a year in a remote Indigenous community as part of the 2016 Lasallian Share the Mission program.
Sidney Chan will spend 11 months at Luurnpa Catholic School in Balgo Hills from January to December 2016.
Seeing the squatters on his parents' property in the Philippines helped him realise the daily struggles facing those living in poverty.
He also travelled to India as part of an immersion program through Oakhill College.
"It sounds so cliché, but I want to find a better meaning of life because you see in today's society, it's very materialistic," Sidney said.
Sidney will join a team of volunteers, acting as teachers' assistants, participating in the local Catholic community, cleaning the school and running after-school programs for the students.
"They learn to be leaders, to be grateful for what they have. They learn to take responsibility, live with people they haven't met and have a deeper understanding of who they are and the culture they are a part of," Lasallian Youth Ministry Coordinator Philippe Dulawan explained.
The year-long program at Balgo helps the volunteers to establish long-lasting, supportive relationships with the students.
"The share the missioners provide a bridge between teacher and guiding friend for the students at school," Coordinator of the Balgo Hills Share the Mission program, Caleb Bainbridge said.
The Balgo Hills program is one of a number of Share the Mission trips which also involve more short-term volunteer programs at schools and orphanages in Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.