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John Godwin: Westfield Local Heroes 2018

The teacher who is changing lives outside the classroom

The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has supported two women through the ‘Onwards & Upwards' program, an eight week mentoring course, helping them to create a brighter future for themselves and their family.

Former Brisbane teacher John Godwin is transforming lives beyond the classroom by offering disadvantaged young people a “fair go”.

As the chairman of Fair Go Australia Foundation, John volunteers many hours a week to develop mentorship and educational programs for young and marginalised Australians.

“We are about helping young people to realise their gifts and to develop them in order to be able to contribute more fully to their families, their community and the Australian society,” John says.

He is also involved in fundraising efforts and activities to promote the cause, such as the annual Fair Go Touch Football carnival and the Bridge to Brisbane run.

“We try to find mentors to help young people so they don’t get lost and tied to negative peer group pressure,” he says.

The mentorship programs are all about helping the young and marginalised to develop a focus and life purpose to break the cycle of poverty. The programs run for eight weeks and give participants the opportunity to set goals and create a vision statement describing the person they want to be.

“It’s about a hand up rather than a handout.”

John says it’s both inspiring and rewarding to watch young people transform over the course of his programs, as they grow in confidence and take on positive and life-changing attitudes.

He is very grateful and humbled to have been voted a Westfield Local Hero.

“It is wonderful, because that money goes straight to the programs, making a real and positive difference to the young people,” John says.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

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