ONE local girl is striving to promote a community minded attitude among Bunbury’s youth by encouraging volunteering, and dedication to social groups.
“The volunteer work is great, I get so much out of it and I try to instill a community sense of community spirit and give back a little bit.”- Samantha Russell
Samantha Russell is a 16-year-old hockey and basketball player, she has her bronze medallion and loves music, she plays the guitar, piano and performs in the city band.
Her name is one Bunbury has been hearing a lot of after her quick thinking saved the lives of a mother and her 10-year-old son caught in a rip off a Dalyellup beach, an act Ms Russell said needed no motivation other than instinct and adrenaline.
“I heard her crying out and I had to help, I didn’t think about it I just did it, I think anyone would have done the same thing if they were in my situation,” Samantha said.
“I wasn’t dressed for swimming, it was an overcast July day,”
In a speech Samantha was invited to give at the International Women’s Day morning tea, she said “I couldn’t just ignore their plea for help.”
But since diving into the water on a cold, overcast day last July she has gone on to win several awards for bravery and community spirit.
In her trophy cabinet now Samantha has two awards for bravery, the Gold Medallion Award, Pride of Australia Award and the Act, Belong, Commit award presented to her by the Capel shire for volunteer work and commitment to the community.
“I was shocked to be nominated because I don’t feel like I’ve done anything particularly special,” she said.
“The volunteer work is great, I get so much out of it and I try to instill a community sense of community spirit and give back a little bit.”
Samantha’s Mum, Sue Russel said her daughter’s attitude towards volunteering was a credit to her and for older women to see her speak at the Women’s Day morning tea was setting a great example.
“You hear so much about what this generation is doing wrong, it’s great to see they are doing right too,” Ms Russell said.
“It was great for the older women to see a young lady with aspirations striving to do her best for the community.”
Samantha said volunteering isn’t all she’s driven to do.
“I have goals to get into uni, begin a career in health care, and eventually travel to Europe, I like to give everything a go.”
Samantha encourages everyone to get involved in their community and to give back.
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