FREEDOM IS THE POWER TO WRITE YOUR OWN STORY
Leaving High School was a time of immense pleasure for me. University was a time where I was able to be ME - no-one really gave a hoot about who your family were, what sport you played or what school you went to - people there looked at your attitude, your ability to connect with people and how you were able to challenge your thinking about life. I ended up studying Psychology due to what my Father was experiencing, and that has been a foundation that has given me a passion for people and the diversity of life. I guess it was a time where I suddenly felt free to be me. Pivotal to this journey was an experience I had on a Lion’s Club International Youth Camp in Rotorua after 6th Form. I met people from all over the world who liked me for who I was - this was a really important experience for me. As we immersed ourselves in the experiences of Maori Culture that are a dominant theme around the Bay of Plenty, a sense of ownership of my future was established. At that stage I was going back to School, but whilst I was there I discovered I had passed University Entrance and I never looked back. As I drove through the Desert Road on the way to Rotorua, I had no idea that the experience of that camp was going to change me.
This shot was taken on the Desert Road in the lead up to a storm. The sun was setting on a new day, and there is a hope for a better tomorrow. The storms of my teenage years are behind me and I have definitely learned that sunsets provide me an opportunity to look forward to sunrises!
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