“Fear of failing is a good thing. It helps you learn and grow.”
Rob is the first to admit that he ‘coasted’ through University having a ‘good time’ rather than a productive one. So much so in fact that when he applied to become part of the John Curtin Leadership Academy he was unsuccessful. He was shattered and could not understand why they did not want him. It was a giant ‘kick in the butt’ but it was the catalyst he needed to re-focus and re-assess his situation. A watershed moment if you will.
“Fear of failure and failure itself, is a good thing. It helps you learn and grow.”Spurred on by this failure, Rob forged ahead undeterred, involving himself in the Curtin Volunteers Programme among other things and eventually gaining access to the Academy. He was now able to access specialised leadership training and develop vital skills through working on real community projects.
Rob has always felt he had a responsibility to help others; that he was born into a privileged position and that if he had been born elsewhere his life could have been very, very different. He also believes that Hale School nurtured that responsibility and that his time spent doing Service Learning, from Year 9 with the Montessori School, right through to his involvement with Nulsen and visits to the Solomon Islands and to Vietnam, has fuelled his ambition to create change.
Rob is honoured to have been awarded this prestigious scholarship which he knows will help him achieve his dream of helping others by creating universal access to clean water and sanitation.
“When families lack access to clean water in developing nations and remote Australia, children – particularly females – surrender their education, childhood and safety, to collect water and help their families survive. When communities lack sanitation, the vulnerable do not survive. My dream is to make access to clean water and sanitation universal, to even out people’s circumstances of birth and grant society’s most vulnerable the basic rights and opportunities I have.”Rob, who has already completed First-class Honours in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) at Curtin University, will start a Master of Philosophy (Water Science, Policy and Management) at the University of Oxford next year.