The Hon Paul Guest AM QC is one of life’s heroes. I remember meeting Paul when I was a mere articled clerk and being completely in awe of this formidable Queens Counsel. My grandfather, Stan Nicholes had trained many world class athletes and had told me to pass on his best to one of his favourite athletes and human beings; Paul Guest. Paul was an imposing character with a great intellect and formidable presence who became a Family Court judge and acquitted this role with his usual self-imposed standard of excellence. When Paul retired as a judge of the Family Court he was approached by the Hon Alastair Nicholson and myself to consider becoming a director of the Lasallian Foundation. Paul accepted and embraced his role with the Foundation with passion and determination. He survived a terrorist attack at the Taj hotel in Mumbai on his first visit to one of the projects in India. This event re-enforced Paul’s determination and grit to raise awareness of the plight of the very poor the Foundation seeks to empower through all types of means including access to education.
Can I recommend that you all read Paul’s quest below and if inspired as I am support him in breaking a world record to raise money to building a multi-purpose community hall as part of a new De La Salle Brothers co-educational secondary school for disadvantaged tribal children in Vietnam.
75-year-old former Olympian rows for world record for tribal children
Former Olympic rower and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Paul Guest is showing no sign of slowing down as he sets his sights on winning gold and breaking the 2000m world record in Boston, USA.
On 1 March, Mr Guest will “Smash the Crash” by contesting the world title for the 75 year age group at the famous Crash-B event during the World Indoor Rowing Championships.
Despite surviving a battle with cancer, the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack and undergoing a recent hip replacement, Mr Guest is determined to return and conquer where he claimed victory in the 2010 indoor rowing championships with the help of his sponsor, Concept 2 Australia.
In addition to taking out the world title, Mr Guest hopes to raise $40,000 on behalf of the Lasallian Foundation who will put the money towards building a multi-purpose community hall as part of a new De La Salle Brothers co-educational secondary school for disadvantaged tribal children in Vietnam.
As well as school sporting activities, women’s health and adult education programs, the hall will be used by the local community as an avenue to better integrate the Vietnamese and the Montagnard mountain tribe, celebrating their cultural diversity.
Mr Guest said the school will commence construction in March and will provide free education for students from the Montagnard mountain tribe with special attention to their specific challenges.
“Currently there is only one elementary school that exists for Montagnards in DakMil, however, they are taught in Vietnamese, a language these children cannot read or write,” Mr Guest said.
“The Vietnamese government is responding to the needs of the local community and has recognised the educational gap within the region, granting permission for the Brothers to build the school,” he said.
Mr Guest has travelled frequently to Vietnam where he has formed a close attachment and said that tribal communities in the central highlands have very limited access to health care, education and employment.
“Sport can play a significant role in improving their quality of life by creating a sense of teamwork, building trust while forging friendships,” Mr Guest said.
“I believe every child deserves an education and a chance to be active and healthy,” he said.
To donate to Paul Guest’s fundraising page go to: https://paulguest.everydayhero.com/au/smashthecrash
Information on the Vietnam De La Salle School: www.lasallianfoundation.org/dakmil-secondary-school
Contact: Mandy Palmer firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 03 9508 2700 Lasallian Foundation PO Box 668, Malvern Vic 3144 www.lasallianfoundation.org