The college captain found time to create a not-for-profit organisation and raise more than $36,000 in four months for the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick between studies for his looming HSC exams.
He enlisted local businesses and fellow Year 12 students from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College Kensington and Brigidine College Randwick to help with the project.
Bobby, who has grown up in the same household as cousins with a disability, said he was motivated to start the charity after seeing his mother care for them when their own died.
“Seeing what my mum had done for other people who are obviously very close to us made me want to give back to the community, and realise how privileged we are rather than being oblivious to much of the suffering of the sick and injured children at the hospital in particular,” he said.
“One legacy I’d like to leave at the school is opening the eyes of younger people to the hardships of others and acknowledging that many of us are well off, we have plenty to give back to assist others.”
A presentation and raffle was held in the school library on September 13 attended by the students, Randwick’s mayor and representatives of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. All money raised through donations and the raffle was donated to the Foundation.
Raffle prizes included $1000 cash, go pro cameras and sports memorabilia including a signed and framed Adam Goodes jersey, an Issac Luke signed boot, and a signed South Sydney Rabbitohs jersey.
Bobby said he had enjoyed his leadership role and the chance to create what he hopes will become an annual fundraising drive.
“I took it on and embraced the challenge. I though I’ve got a good opportunity here as school captain, I know a lot of good people, so let’s make something out of this cause.
“The idea of giving back resides very closely to me and it’s something I want to continue into the future.”
Bobby said he was grateful for others students’ support of the project.
“They definitely played a huge role in the success we witnessed, whether by selling raffle tickets or donations,” he said. “The drive was definitely much broader than I expected. Many people chose to purchase tickets outside of the school, especially when we held a fundraising day at Coogee.”
While exciting times lay ahead post-exams, Bobby said there were aspects of life at Marcellin that he will miss.
“The one biggest thing I’ll miss is the unified culture around the school,” he said. “It’s especially something we’ve witnessed in recent weeks as we’re coming closer to the graduation. It’s like a brotherhood between the Year 12 boys.”