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

Scholarship winner has been serving the community for many years

Craig Graham representing Warrane College

The recipient of the 2014 Warrane Community Service scholarship, Craig Graham, has been dedicated serving the community for many years.

Growing up on the NSW north coast at Port Macquarie, where he attended MacKillop Senior College, he began community service work at the tender age of six as a young nipper with the Port Macquarie Surf Life Saving Club.

He dedicated himself to regular surf lifesaving throughout his school years, working his way from a basic level engaging in patrolling and surf awareness and gained enough experience over the years to manage a beach in emergency and non-emergency situations.

He was chosen as Rookie of the Year by his club in 2011, the same year in which he became under-17 branch champion.

At the same time, Craig developed as an ocean ski racer. His journey with kayaking began when he read an article in a Surf Life Saving newsletter in August 2011 offering talented Surf Ski Paddlers an opportunity to qualify for the National Elite Development Program with Kayaking.

By the end of November and three trips to Sydney later, Craig had made the “Talent Identification group” and was in possession of a loaned kayak.

He told Paddle NSW at the time: “My first attempt at kayaking was at Narrabeen and the great news was I didn’t fall out.”

Two months of training later, he made it to the State Titles in January 2012 but did not perform as well as he had hoped, due mainly to nerves. He went on to compete at the the Oceania Titles and National Titles and made the final of the Under-18 1000 metre event.

In the following year he qualified for the Australian team by finishing second in the 2013 under-18s section at the Paddle New South Wales Open Water Surf Ski Final. He went on to represent Australia at the 2013 Ocean Racing World Championships in Porto, Portugal, where he finished 11th.

Craig has been praised along with other leaders of the Port Macquarie Surf Life Saving Club for “inspiring many young nippers through their performance and example” over the years.

Since arriving at Warrane he has continued his community service work by joining College volunteers who help out at the Little Sisters of the Poor Nursing Home in Randwick.

Over the years, Craig has also completed the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, working his way through the bronze, silver and gold levels.

He is now enrolled in Civil Engineering at UNSW and hopes in the future to devote his talents to helping Australia develop solutions in long-term renewable engineering projects.

“The impact of Global Warming along with the depletion of fossil fuels is creating a world need for alternative clean energies,” Craig says. “My goal would be to combine my interest in engineering with the environment opportunities that are now available in Environmental/Renewable Energy/Civil Engineering.

“UNSW is one of the most recognized universities for Australia in the world. Specifically the faculty of engineering is highly regarded by both industry and Engineering Australia.

“For these reasons it attracts both the best academics and students, together with providing state-of-the-art learning and research facilities.”