Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Oli O’Sullivan goes west to help youngsters

Seventh-floor resident Oliver O’Sullivan has been taking several hours a week out of his busy schedule in third-year Arts at Notre Dame University to help school students from Sydney’s West to broaden their horizons.

Oliver, or “Oli” as most people around College have come to know him, travels out to Mount Druitt on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to help out at the Mirabooka Study Centre.

The centre for boys seeks to help youngsters “grow in character, competency, maturity and concern for others”, through educational programs and mentoring.

“I supervise and participate in sports like touch footy and soccer,” Oliver said. “I also help out with the study program and the talks at the centre which aim to smooth out the edges with the boys.”

The centre also organises holiday camps for the boys who go there, including camps at Jambaroo and Bungonia, and a two-day intense walk in Spring dubbed Survival Camp.

When we spoke, Oliver was just heading off to Canberra for a cycling camp with a bus full of boys. While there they planned to follow the cycle paths of Lake Burley Griffin, spend a day riding at Mt Stromlo Forest Park, and then tackle a local BMX track and obstacle course.

Mirabooka, which is “built on a spirit of service and friendship” was inspired by the teachings of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei and the inspiration behind Warrane College.

Oliver said he was introduced to the study centre by former Warrane staff member, Richard Vella, and found he really enjoyed getting involved.

“We try to help the boys to grow in virtues like hard work, generosity and getting on well with others,” he said, adding: “We also have a lot of fun.”