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.

Facing up to the music

SOUR NOTE: Scott Cooper at The Mecca.

Lismore Music Festival organisers apologise for event cancellation

NORPA founder brings us Opera Australia

FOR KIDS: James Payne as Troll and Ruth Strutt as Ferdinand in El Kid, Opera Australia's production for primary schools.

El Kid comes to Albert Park Public School

Women's Expo to open the festival

Lismore's Women's Festival.

A day long event for the wellbeing of women in Lismore

Local Partners

Tony Abbott: Coalition in danger of becoming ‘Labor lite’

Tony Abbott has penned a highly critical analysis of the Turnbull Government, highlighting voter “despair” and concerns “the Coalition has become Labor lite.”

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Wonderland star hits the big time in America

HE MAY not be James Bond, but Bundaberg lad Michael Dorman has hit the big time in a lead on Amazon web series Patriot.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!