After finishing Wentworth at the end of Year 12, followed by a bit of travelling and growing up, I did a two year diploma in Outdoor Recreation at the Hillary Outdoors Pursuits Centre in Tongariro National Park (OPC). Since qualifying at the end of 2011, my outdoor recreation skills have taken me to some amazing places, such as giving motivational speeches to hundreds of people in a castle in Wales (UK), followed by abseiling them off the castle’s tower! I now work as a senior instructor and safety manager at MERC (the Sir Peter Blake ‘Marine Education Recreation Centre’) in Long Bay.
Just before starting my Diploma, I travelled through SE Asia where I saw children – some, really young – prostituting themselves. It wasn’t until three years later when I was working in Europe that I realized the full extent of human trafficking. There are 21 million people (men, women and children) in slavery around the world – yes, even New Zealand. Last year I decided to do something to help and I’m currently walking the length of NZ to raise funds for Nvader, an organisation dedicated to stopping human trafficking, headed by an ex- under-cover NZ Policeman. So far I’ve walked the whole of the North Island, some along the awesome Te Araroa Trail, from Cape Rienga to Wellington. I’ve had torn ligaments in my knees, rats in my food, a man with a rifle outside my tent at 2am, heavy rain, freezing cold nights with snow in my tent, and I’ve seen wind so strong it blew a waterfall upwards. But I’ve also seen some amazing parts of the country and met some awesome people who have helped me along the way. For now, I’m back at work earning enough money to start walking the South Island, hopefully departing in September, and at the end I hope to have raised $50,000. If you would like to read more about what I’ve done then please see my Facebook page “Walking NZ to end Human slavery” or my Give A Little page ‘Walking New Zealand’.
There are so many paths to follow when we leave school and it can be hard to know what to do– university or other tertiary courses, travel, or going straight into the workforce. I’m so pleased that I followed my passion for the outdoors. The places it’s taken me, the things I’ve seen and the people I’ve met along the way have all contributed to a wonderful ‘life after Wentworth’.