Future leader wins Aboriginal Student of the Year
WITH the Bundjalung nation's Warren Mundine and Rhoda Roberts receiving Order of Australia medals this week in recognition for their contributions to this country and their Indigenous communities, you don't need to look further than Maclean teenager Charles Charlton-Walker as being the next generation from this area to achieve great things.
The Year 10 student already possesses impressive leadership qualities, which haven't gone unnoticed as he was recently named the Clarence Aboriginal Student of the Year.
The award recognises emerging leaders, rewards students commitment to their local community and connects students to community leaders and role models.
Mr Charlton-Walker said he felt elated when found out he won the award.
"I felt really happy about myself, really honoured, especially earning it around this area around the Clarence," he said.
"Mum was in tears when she heard about it, they were all happy about it, very proud about it," Mr Charlton-Walker added about how his family reacted.
The teenager has been involved in a number of programs including Maclean High School Student Representative Council, helping young students with their reading skills, playing in touch football, league and rugby sides, refereeing for the Yamba touch football association and more.
"I was involved with the Lloyd McDermott under-17s in New Zealand," he said.
The Lloyd McDermott Development team is made up of indigenous rugby players from across Australia.
Mr Charlton-Walker wants to continue with his rugby union career and hopefully move overseas. "I just wanna... live overseas in New Zealand and just play rugby over there," he said.
Member for the Clarence Chris Gulaptis said he was glad to nominate Mr Charlton-Walker.
"Charles is a very worthy recipient of this award," Mr Gulaptis said.
"He's highly regarded at Maclean High School and in the Maclean community, the teachers think the world of him... he's got a terrific work ethic, he's in everything."
"He's one of those kids who is really energised."