INTERVIEW WITH LACHLAN WILLIAMS
Fred Hollows Humanity Award Winner 2019
Most of the interviewees for our People of Purpose story are fired up about a particular issue. But your story is potentially more about a way of life than a cause. For want of a better definition, we're labelling it a pursuit of Kindness. And INCREDIBLY you've been awarded the Fred Hollows Humanity Award in recognition of that.
For those that don't know, can we start by your telling us briefly about the award?
Sure. The Fred Hollows Award for Humanity is awarded to Aussie kids in their last year of Primary School for “showing outstanding care and compassion for others”. It’s a national award. There are no limits on the number of entries but you are nominated, you don’t enter for the award yourself.
At its heart, winning this award is about integrity of character. It’s about being consistently KIND as part of your DNA and who you are. Not something you’re doing to win a prize or recognition
Image of Lachlan + Gabby Hollows at the Award Ceremony
What triggered (if anything) your pursuit of Kindness. What motivates you?
In Year 3 (at a different school to where I am now) I was bullied quite violently by kids in an older grade to me. It took a while to build up the courage to tell the teachers this was happening because the bullies had threatened to hurt me more if I told. Eventually I did. It gained me advocates in my peer group where before they’d passively watched but not backed me.
But more importantly it gave me the self confidence to know my worth which has helped me through some tough times since. AND it put an end to the bullying that same day
Two things happened after that. First I became clear on what living my best life meant: to live with joy and not fear. And that the way into this was KINDness. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Maybe the way into Joy was KINDness. And I began to write that down. Later in Year 5 it became the outline for a leadership speech I made to the school I am in now – and which it turns out, informed their nomination of me for the Fred Hollows award.
FINDING MY VOICE. SHARING MY PURPOSE
Many of our Tween community have a passion or purpose but perhaps haven't found their voice yet, or the appropriate platform to share their message.
Tell us if this has impacted you and if so what practical and emotional barriers you have had to overcome to live your purpose
No this hasn’t impacted me. I guess because this isn’t a purpose for me, it’s just the way I live my life. The award is amazing and I’m grateful but really I’m actually not that nice ALL the time. Just ask my brothers! I’m human. And I’m not trying to be anyone other than me. If I do have a purpose it’s to be a Detective. That’s my dream job. But I haven’t worked out yet how this fits with that.
Of course we HAVE to ask this question: what are you most proud of having achieved in the pursuit of your purpose?
Standing up to those bullies in Year 3.
YOUR PURPOSE - YOUR FRIENDSHIPS
Did your purpose affect your friendship group or popularity or socially gain you respect in any way?
Not really. I think I make friends easily. Some of that is because I’ve moved to a lot of different schools because of my mum’s job. Also because I’m interested in a lot of different things and people.
So the award made no difference to that at all.
But I would say that some of the instances of unkindness or bullying I’ve experienced have evolved into friendship situations later.
I don’t think being a victim of bullying has anything to do with your popularity or not. It can just happen. But when it does you can overcome it. And so can the bully. And you can move on. A lot of the time anyway.
EMPOWERED THROUGH PURPOSE
Please offer your best piece of advice to any Tweens who may feel social pressure not to be kind to others or not to stay true to themselves in order to fit in.
If you’re not true to yourself because of your friends then you’re living a lie - and maybe they’re not real friends.
Friends should be people you can be true to yourself around. That you can just be yourself with and they get that. And like that.
Please offer your best piece of advice to any Tweens unsure if the putting yourself out there is really worth it/ whether they can make a difference
You have nothing to lose.
A note from us
Should any of the above trigger personal concerns or concern for others about bullying, please seek help from your family and teachers
Support can also be found with our incredible charity partners Alannah + Madeline
We have a list of Tween Resources permanently located on our website for you here
And an article dedicated to this topic that may help in our JOY ISSUE of this zine, here