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Alumni Stories: Ashley Eadon

Friday, Aug 18, 2017
by Ashley Eadon and Humanitarian Institute

AshleyEadon

I am not young enough to know everything’ – Oscar Wilde

There are various ways we can all make a mark on this world, with most people at one point or another aiming to change the world for the better, that is before cynicism with a dose of realism kicks in.

You can count me as one of those slightly odd individuals, who dreams big enough to believe that the injustices of this world can be changed with passion and hard work.

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In 2014, I had the opportunity to visit the Solomon Islands, partnering with a local organisation to develop a kindergarten in Honiara. ‘Fox Hole Kindy’ is still functioning today, over three years later.

This experience was a turning point in my life and has set me on the trajectory that I am living out today.

Seeing poverty and witnessing injustice first hand lit a passion in me to speak up and strive for global social change leading me to explore humanitarianism. My family believes in this also, with my Father doing International Development work until his death in 2016, after he contracted an unknown disease after working in Fiji.

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Since my first trip to the Solomon Islands I have fundraised thousands of dollars for World Vision and other non-for profit organisations. A few of my prouder moments include:

  • Fundraising enough money for two wells to be built in the Philippines
  • Returning to the Solomon Islands to be a bridesmaid in a local woman’s wedding
  • Pitching an idea to combat racism at Parliament House and
  • Being awarded both a 2016 Heywire winner and 2016 Youth Citizen of the Year.

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Most recently I completed the Certificate in Humanitarian Foundations run by Humanitarian Institute. This experience was a huge highlight of my journey thus far and another turning point in my story.

I left feeling inspired, encouraged and more educated in how the Humanitarian sector operates. The course gave me exposure to the many facets the sector operates in and gave me ideas of how I could fit within that sector with an outline of the steps needed to get there.

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After completing this course, I was I appointed to work at ‘Oaktree’ as their Events Office and chosen to represent La Trobe University as a sponsored delegate at the University Scholars Leadership Symposium at the United Nations in Thailand.

Compared to some outstanding individuals this may not seem like much. However, considering I am only 18 years of age I am confident that I will continue to grow as a professional and in experience as I aim to reach my career goals of working in the Humanitarian sector, specifically focusing on education and advocacy.

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Currently, I am studying a Bachelor of Laws and Psychological Science, inspired to do so by key figures such as Tim Costello, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Barbara Jordan just to name a few. These people have all done incredible things with their lives, truly changing this broken world for the better. To me there is something adventurous and rewarding about undertaking a career in which the main purpose is to try and make life better for someone other than yourself.

Too often we see the rich get richer and not enough people loving their neighbours. I know I have a lot to learn, consequently I will continue to try and seek out opportunities to better myself and push me further in my career. Always keeping the vision of a world where a child regardless of gender or postcode will be given an education and other fundamental human rights, close to my heart.

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I would encourage you all to go after your dream, be crazy enough to try and change the things that make you angry.

As Margaret Mead said - “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Ashley Eadon.


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