Can one person really make a difference?

To be a global citizen, to want to make the world a better place and to make a difference in the lives of others is what all my students strive for. It is a powerful outcome of education.

Cabramatta High School principal Beth Godwin

Cabramatta High School principal Beth Godwin

We want to leave our mark in the world, though often worry if one person can do that.

Next week Cabramatta High School will be meeting Naomi Klein who is an environmental activist who challenges us to stand up and speak up to make a positive change.

She is the winner of the Sydney Peace prize for her tireless work in the area of protecting the environment.

She challenges all of us to think differently every day and live by example.

She doesn’t purchase bottled water or travel in a petrol-powered car. More than 1500 students from 15 schools will learn first-hand how she is making a difference and will be inspired to make their own mission to improve the world.

Students and staff have already joined her crusade through developing performance pieces, plays and YouTube videos about the environment, drawing our attention to taking responsibility.

Being a strong advocate means that others will be convinced to join the battle and help improve the world.

At this time of year the students have raised a number of projects that they are championing, including having a garage sale to raise money for the Children’s Hospital at Christmas.

One student brought this idea forward and was able to convince a group of peers to help by having a garage sale in December to fund this venture.

Another student wants to help educate children in Third World countries by sending stationery packets to school students in Ethiopia.

Yet another student spends time each week feeding and conversing with homeless people in the local area.

Each one of these students as an individual and as leaders of groups is making a difference to the lives of others. They are true global citizens in our local community, making us proud.

One person can make a difference and so it is time to stand up and think what we can all do to help another person or to help our environment. My challenge to everyone no matter how old, young, rich or poor is: “What will you do?”

Beth Godwin, Principal

Cabramatta High School