It is not surprising that Benalla’s Goulburn Valley Grammar School student Edward Miechel recently received a Fred Hollows Humanity Award.
Edward was nominated for the award by his teacher, Fiona O’Meara, who said he was such a standout student because his criteria for success was not based solely on his achievements but rather experiencing new things.
‘‘He’s open to and likes new experiences,’’ Ms O’Meara said.
‘‘Edward contributes to his school community by participating in the sporting arena, at musical concerts and in school productions.
‘‘More importantly, he is humble, honest and giving.’’
The articulate Year 6 student was among 44 Victorians recently presented with the award at a ceremony at Melbourne’s Parliament House, where nominees were recognised for following in Fred’s footsteps, showing care and compassion for others.
Ms O’Meara said Edward also passionately shared his knowledge of aviation with visitors at the Benalla Aviation Museum as a junior tour guide, interacting with everyone from senior citizens to young children.
Edward said he volunteered his time each week on Sundays. He was the youngest by at least a decade who offered up their time at the facility.
He said his responsibilities included taking people on guided tours of the museum, where he explained the history of each piece.
‘‘My dad builds remote controlled aeroplanes and he is a big enthusiast, so I think that’s where my interest stemmed from,’’ Edward said.
Already an aspiring aeronautical engineer, or ‘‘maybe just an engineer’’, Edward said it was inspiring to attend the awards ceremony, rubbing shoulders with Fred Hollow’s Foundation founding director Gabi Hollows and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
He said it was great to listen to Ms Hollows’ speech, in which she said the award recognised students who reflected the value of helping one another in their own lives.
‘‘It (attending the ceremony) made me more aware of things I see now,’’ Edward said.
He also thanked his teacher, endearingly referred to as ‘‘Ms O’’, for nominating him for the award.