News

Brave Keshaya eyes new future

Keshaya Williams from Cabarita is greeted by her grandmother Mignon Francis at the end of the 10-day outdoor adventure and, at left, canoes under the Ballina Street bridge.
Keshaya Williams from Cabarita is greeted by her grandmother Mignon Francis at the end of the 10-day outdoor adventure and, at left, canoes under the Ballina Street bridge.

KESHAYA Williams cried every day during a 10-day biking, hiking and paddling adventure that ended with hugs and more tears when relatives greeted participants by the Richmond River at Lismore yesterday.

But the 14-year-old said she would do it all again.

"It was really hard. We had to walk up Mount Jerusalem; I didn't think I was going to get to the top," Keshaya said.

"There were lots of tears, but it has definitely made me stronger."

Apart from conquering new challenges - like climbing Mount Jerusalem, beating her way through overgrown tracks, and dealing with lots of leeches - Keshaya said the trip has left her seeing everything from a completely different perspective.

"Now I know what is actually hard and what is easy," the Year 10 Kingscliff High student said. "I appreciate my family and all the things they do for me more."

Behavioural problems prompted Keshaya's family to book her in for the "Recre8" trip, run by the local charity Evolve with the aim of helping at-risk young people aged from 14 to 19.

The adventure starts at Clarrie Hall Dam near Uki. With three adult guides, participants paddle across the dam, walk up Mount Jerusalem then cycle down to the river and spend two days paddling back to Lismore.

Evolve state manager for Queensland, Graham Pringle, said the trip gave kids "something really hard to achieve".

"These kids often haven't had a lot of success, so this sets a new minimum for them," Mr Pringle said. "They go, 'From now on I will achieve more'."

Mr Pringle said the trip was made possible by a $50,000 donation from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

"The funding means we can continue to deliver profound change in the lives of young people," he said.

For Keshaya, the end marks a fresh start.

"I know this is going to change her life," her grandmother Mignon Frances said. "She's pretty fiery, but this will be a new road for Keshaya."

Topics:  adventure, hiking, kingscliff high school, lismore, richmond river


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

What price would you put on a kid's 'miracle'?

At nine years of age, Quiń had an accident that caused a cataract to one of his eyes. In an instant; this little boy with his whole life ahead of him faced a future of blindness.

Thousands of Aussies joining campaign to restore sight to kids

Mayor's plan to bring Son of Lismore's cabinet home

TALENTED: Geoff Hannah with Minister For The Arts Mitch Fifield, Jenny Dowell, Kevin Hogan, Thomas George and Brett Adlington at the opening and unveiling of his work at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Mayor Dowell wants famous cabinet for regional gallery

Latest deals and offers

The perils of play: How kids are most likely to be hurt

THE thought of your child suffering a life-threatening accident is the stuff of parents’ nightmares.

What price would you put on a kid's 'miracle'?

At nine years of age, Quiń had an accident that caused a cataract to one of his eyes. In an instant; this little boy with his whole life ahead of him faced a future of blindness.

Thousands of Aussies joining campaign to restore sight to kids

Mayor's plan to bring Son of Lismore's cabinet home

TALENTED: Geoff Hannah with Minister For The Arts Mitch Fifield, Jenny Dowell, Kevin Hogan, Thomas George and Brett Adlington at the opening and unveiling of his work at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Mayor Dowell wants famous cabinet for regional gallery

Flood watch issued for Qld, NSW

NSW State Emergency Service warns of heavy rain

Blood-stained clothes seized after axe attack

Lismore Court House.

A landlord has been charged over an axe attack on her tenant

School girl porn ring site goes offline

The Federal Government is yet to confirm if the site has been taken down or simply moved to different offshore servers.

Controversial Australian nude school girl rating site disappears.

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m