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Scholarship winner has experienced community service overseas


Thomas Ryan married Francesca Perrottet in 2017

The winner of Warrane’s Community Service Scholarship for 2012, Thomas Ryan, is a high achiever on many levels.

Thomas, who is in the first year of a Bachelor of Economics degree, graduated from St. Ignatius College, Riverview with the Mark Robinson Prize for All Round Endeavor and Achievement.

He was also awarded a GAP Year position in 2011 to work at Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland. While there he worked as a teacher’s aide, helped out as a Special Needs Assistant and also volunteered to help organise retreats for the students.

Thomas has taken part in many community service projects, but the one that he found most fulfilling was a trip to Cambodia to teach English to young underprivileged children.

“Coming from a comfortable environment, it was certainly an eye-opening experience,” he said. “It was moving to see how families who had so much less than we had but were still able to look after each other. The most important thing for them was the family, not worldly goods.”

Thomas said it was fascinating to spend time with children who knew nothing of the privileged lifestyle that Australians enjoy, but were still able to enjoy life.

“They shared with us the things that bring them enjoyment like traditional Cambodian dancing and using clapping sticks. And we showed them the sorts of games Aussie kids play. We only knew those kids for a very short time, but we developed such a strong bond with them.”

Thomas also helped out at Belvedere with the running of the St Vincent de Paul Society and with Soup Runs, taking soup and food to the homeless people on the streets of Dublin. And he took part in a Charity Walk from Dublin to Galway (a distance of 250 kilometres) which raised over 60,000 euros for three charities.

Thomas’s other interests are sport – he is an avid supporter of the Collingwood Football Club – and politics. He is a member of the Liberal Party and an Electorate Volunteer in the office of the federal member for North Sydney and Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey.