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Andrew gives the gift of snow

28 Sep 2010

Andrew gives the gift of snow Image

By Alison Kinkade

While many people spend their free time indulging in their own hobbies, Docklands worker Andrew Partos volunteers himself to the community.And for one weekend last month, Andrew helped two groups he is involved with combine forces to give Sudanese youth the time of their life.

On the weekend of September 18 and 19, Andrew and four other volunteers journeyed to Mt Buller with 17 Sudanese youths.

Having been involved with the Sudanese community for the past three years and having volunteered as a ski patroller for the past 20 years, Andrew saw the weekend as a great opportunity.

“I put a proposal into the Buller Ski Lifts which offers assistance to charitable organisations and we also had a lot of help from the resort management board, ski rental, Quince’s bus line and Princes Hill Secondary School,” Andrew said.

He said the weekend was organised to give the Sudanese teens a chance to do something that they wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do.

“It was very rewarding and it was great watching them ski because many of them are very athletic and picked it up very easily,” he said.

Andrew, who has been working in Docklands with VicUrban for the past six years, became involved with the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program through his work with VicUrban.

“I was working with VicUrban on the revitalisation of Dandenong and development of Footscray three years ago when I found out about SAIL,” Andrew said.

“At the time Sudanese people were getting quite a hard time in the media and I thought I could choose to believe what was being said or do something and get involved so I joined SAIL.”

As well as organising camps, Andrew tutors students at SAIL’s Footscray campus and is also involved in helping youth sporting groups.

“It’s very satisfying work and the community is so great at grabbing the opportunities when they arrive and are very willing to be involved,” Andrew said.

To find out more information about SAIL visit http://www.sailprogram.org.au/

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