The Bishop Hale Medal is awarded to an Old Haleian who displays unselfish, voluntary devotion to duty. Harry Garland (2009) is befitting of such an honour.
Harry started at Hale in year 10 in 2007. He quickly immersed himself in the Hale way and just two years later he was appointed as a House Captain, and a School Prefect.
Harry was a very keen swimmer and was part of the Hale swimming squad in each of the three years he attended Hale, culminating in him captaining the swimming team in 2009. He also played in the first teams for water polo and football and was a keen artist.
Mr Stuart Meade, his headmaster, recalls Harry as ‘leading by example rather than motivational speechmaking. This, coupled with his humility and enthusiasm, made him a student who was always a positive role model’.
Harry credits Hale School for providing a welcoming environment where he and others could develop genuine lifelong relationships and understand the true meaning of mateship. After finishing at Hale, Harry decided to pursue his love of football and played colts and reserves for Claremont. In 2011 one of Harry's best mates and fellow aspiring footballer, Warrick Proudlove, was involved in a tragic accident that shaped his life forever. The car Warrick was a passenger in, hit a stray horse and subsequently crashed into a tree. The car crash sent shockwaves through the community and exposed a loophole in the insurance system since there was no one at fault for the crash and hence, no insurance could be claimed for the accident. Warrick’s family covers the cost of his ongoing rehabilitation.
Warrick's accident had a big impact on Harry, who struggled to process the reality of the situation. “I felt helpless and didn’t know how I could support my friend”.
In 2015, Harry decided to swim to Rottnest solo and the idea for the “Swim for Proudie” was born. Doing a solo crossing was a bucket list item for Harry and he thought it would be a great opportunity to use the swim as a platform to raise awareness and funds for Warrick and his ongoing care.
Since then, Harry, has completed the Rottnest Channel swim every year, along with hundreds of others as a fundraiser for the Warrick Proudlove Foundation. Thanks to Harry’s unselfish, voluntary devotion to duty, he has helped to raise over $200,000 for the Foundation.
“I never thought the swim would have been this successful. It isn’t the size or grandeur of your actions that count, it is the meaning and the thought behind it. I think that we often don’t appreciate the impact that even a small act can have.”Harry was recently recognized for his hard work, dedication and leadership, winning the prestigious 2019 West Australian Youth Award. This award recognises and celebrates excellence in leadership, positively impacting the lives of Western Australians. Humble in his response to receiving the award, Harry said “it’s such an honour to receive this award, but I accept it on behalf of everyone who has contributed to the “Swim for Proudie” group over the past years. It has been a real team and community effort”.
The Hale school motto of Duty and ethos of service learning certainly does personify Harry’s commitment to his friend Warrick and to his life to date.
**Harry was awarded the Bishop Hale Medal in 2020, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not presented until Old Boys' Day 2021.
See Harry's acceptance speech HERE