Who’s Who in 22, Community: Sean Gordon

Published 12:00am 6 December 2022

Who’s Who in 22, Community: Sean Gordon
Words by Moreton Daily

Clontarf’s Sean Gordon has continued to provide a platform for school children to make a difference in their communities in 2022, with his creation SchoolAid raising money for Redcliffe Hospital and flood victims.

Sean founded SchoolAid in 1999 after a series of events close to home and around the world prompted him to act.

The charity mobilises students to raise money and do good in their communities in an effort not only to help disaster-affected people, but also to help children feel good about themselves and the future.

It all began two years after Sean, the then controller of the Bega Valley SES, was involved in the Thredbo rescue mission following a devastating landslide in 1997 that claimed 18 lives.

Sean and his team arrived on site approximately 9pm — the night before rescuers heard the voice of lone survivor Stuart Diver from under the rubble.

His role was to lead a crew of 70 SES volunteers and communicate with police, fire and ambulance personnel onsite.

That experience and previous roles as a road and flood rescue volunteer, changed the way he thought about life’s ups and downs.

The former school principal said a conversation with a Year 5 pupil, who thought humanity would be wiped out before he turned 25, forced him to act.

After the Turkey earthquake in 1999, Sean decided to mobilise other school principals across Australia so children could help.

They raised about $40,000 and SchoolAid was born.

SchoolAid has since built schools in East Timor and Banda Aceh, and assisted countless community projects. Closer to home, students raised money for cyclone victims and supported the homeless – just to name a couple.

Earlier this year, schools across the region were involved in SchoolAid’s Bail Out a Buddy appeal for victims of the 2022 floods. It raised more than $22,000 across Australia.

They also raised almost $5000 for the Raise it for Redcliffe Hospital appeal. The schools involved included Grace Lutheran Primary School, Redcliffe State High School, Grace Lutheran College and Clontarf Beach State School.

About Sean Gordon

After serving 18 years as a principal in four schools in New South Wales and Queensland and being elected to state and national executive roles, Sean was honoured with a Life Membership of the Australian Primary Principals Association for his contribution to education.

He founded SchoolAid in 1999 in a bid to mobilise children to make a difference in their communities, which in turn had a positive affect on their mental health.

In 2019, Sean was awarded an OAM for his work on SchoolAid over the past 20 years.

He works as a personal and executive coach and speaker.

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