After reading about the recent and dramatic escalation of violence in the Middle East, I was drawn to reflect on just how lucky we Australians are, to live in such a peaceful and prosperous part of the world; free of persecution and serious risk to both ourselves and our families. It was devastating to watch so many people’s livelihoods being uprooted and displaced due to the violence that is occurring. It’s times like these that we remember just how much we take for granted and how grateful we should be for the little things.
Things like having the opportunity to go to school, Church and work without needing to fear for your safety. Things like deciding to go somewhere local to relax and socialise free from oppression. Things that, unfortunately, are a luxury that many people never experience.
In my time as a resident of Brimbank I have been fortunate enough to attend high school at Overnewton Anglican Community College, be a part of a local junior football team, become a member of Brimbank Anglican Church and in more recent times become a staff member at Overnewton Castle. Each of these, admittedly very different organisations, have community involvement and care as part of their core belief.
How much the people who have experienced violence and trauma first hand, wish to live in a community like ours, I’ll never be able to fully comprehend but what is important is that we remain both grateful for the many opportunities living in Australian affords us and mindful of those who don’t ever get to enjoy the same luxury’s we take for granted every day.
Our hearts go out to the people of Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Afghanistan at this time as well as all those who are experiencing ongoing armed conflict and/or persecution and oppression. I pray that one day they too may experience what it’s like to live in a community like ours.
About Edward Buijs
20 year old Edward lives in Keilor. In January he was announced Young Citizen of the Year at Brimbank’s Australia Day Awards.
Edward is currently studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biomedical Engineering at Melbourne University. That sounds very flash, but Edward says it’s pretty simple as “basically Biomedical Engineering focuses on human systems and the design and operation of devices that assist in medical treatments and procedures.”
In his last few years of high school Edward started working part time in hospitality which still supports him through his tertiary studies. Edward is passionate about people and passionate about trying to make a difference, no matter how small.
A life changing experience
Last year his commitment to making a difference took him to Papua New Guinea to volunteer on a humanitarian program. The aim of this trip was to construct a piggery that would provide affordable food and employment opportunities to the locals with all profits going towards financially supporting nurses and doctors at the rural hospital. Now operational, building the piggery was a great experience to be a part of and the lessons learnt were invaluable. And, as well as a new perspective of life he also lost heaps of weight!
A huge sports fan and proud Bombers fan one day Edward hopes to work in the area of Foreign Affairs and Trade.