The Resilience Project’s youth mentor Hugh van Cuylenburg spoke to Rochester Primary School students on the importance of gratitude and mindfulness in their lives.GRAHAM WILLIS August 8, 2014 3:01am
Teaching at a remote Himalayan school for six months gave youth mentor Hugh van Cuylenburg a new perspective on life.
Immersed in a culture where people appreciate everything in life, no matter how meagre, Mr van Cuylenburg returned to Australia where he set up The Resilience Project, a group which focuses on the importance of resilience, gratitude and mindfulness in life.
Before an audience of grade 5 and 6 students at Rochester Primary School last week, he spoke of his time at the Himalayan school.
Using photographs, videos and a collection of amazing anecdotes he had the audience spellbound.
He first went to India to attend a cricket academy and there he visited a one-teacher school in a slum.
The school had one teacher, one classroom and 130 students.
Learning only one in 20 were selected to attend school was a turning point for Mr van Cuylenburg. He left the academy and took up the teaching job in the Himalayan desert.
The story of a young boy who was always happy impressed the students.
The boy had no family, no possessions yet he was grateful for everything he had in life, even the cardboard box he used to sleep in a gutter.
‘‘The happiest people are those who practise gratitude,’’ Mr van Cuylenburg said.
Mr van Cuylenburg also spoke to Rochester junior footballers about the importance of resilience and mindfulness.
He told the boys resilience was the ability to manage difficulties and bounce back from adversity.
The visit was organised by Bendigo Health’s carer support services community development worker Julie Bright, who has worked closely with wellbeing co-ordinators in all district schools.
Rochester Primary School teacher Leesa Ross thanked Ms Bright for the chance to hear Mr van Cuylenburg speak.
Mr van Cuylenburg is also the chief executive of Step Back Think, a group which highlights the need to stamp out senseless violence.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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