“I think the events of March 15 and also the earthquakes of 2010 and ‘11 were pretty defining moments for me. We lost our neighbour in the earthquakes. During the mosque attacks we had been sponsoring a muslim family who’d come over from Jordan. For about 18 months prior to that we had built a good relationship with them and two of them were killed in the attacks. To have that sort of come out of nowhere was really, really heartbreaking.

My family’s very supportive and they’ve been a great, a great port of call for me. In terms of further help, being able to have free counseling at the GP has been good. I see other people around me that are on waiting lists for certain clinics and treatments, it’s frustrating, that waiting time sort of defeats the purpose of being treated because you know your condition could worsen in that time. But, yeah, I think I’m lucky with my family I’ve got close to me.

Despite that pain and loss, it’s reassuring that people were able to band together and reach out following those adversities. I’m involved with my local church and involved in the community as well. I love connecting with people, it’s where I find a lot of fulfillment.

You see all sorts of different types of people in the community. I think there’s just so much to gain from connecting with others because chances are, you know, you’re not alone, you’re not the only one. People don’t have to know everything, it’s simple things like a meal or a game of backyard cricket but a little goes a long way of being able to reach out and take that first step.

I think those values of service, connecting with others and loving your neighbour are quite close to my heart.

I also love sport, playing basketball for school and Cricket as well, both at school and the local club. They’re big, big parts in my life. Most of my summer is dedicated to cricket!

After high school hopefully I’ll be able to go to university to study. I’m really keen on studying engineering, I’m fascinated with how things work. Travel would also be awesome. I mean, who knows at the moment, but I’d love to see the world, that’d be pretty special as well.”

– Toby

Charity registration number: CC57701