A former AFL club operations manager has teamed up with the Josh Kennedy Foundation and the Shire of Northampton to deliver a student character development program in the cyclone-devastated town of Kalbarri.
Retired Eagles forward Josh Kennedy has funded the program through his JK Foundation in a bid to give back to the community. The Rock-Solid Character program is designed for Year 10 students at Kalbarri District High School.
Jon Haines, former operations manager at Gold Coast Suns, created the program based on research into adolescent character development during a Churchill Fellowship and 20 years experience in elite football.
Mr Haines visited Kalbarri on Tuesday, September 13, and will return throughout the last term of school to roll out the program.
He said it gave students an opportunity to reflect on their identity and create a deeper understanding of the habits and mindset underpinning great character.
“What the school, the community and parents will see is a group of young people with a strong sense of who they are, an enhanced ability to make sound decisions in a wide range of scenarios and hopefully a group of emerging community members who can positively influence the community of Kalbarri and help the town through its next phase,” he said.
Shire of Northampton president Liz Sudlow said the past 18 months had presented many challenges for the Kalbarri community and acknowledged volunteers and community members were fatigued.
“We wanted to offer a grass-roots, community-specific program at Kalbarri with a focus on the school students,” she said.
“We are very grateful to the generosity of the Josh Kennedy Foundation, which has sponsored the program.”