The Armidale School chaplain Richard Newton says it is his privilege to serve others.
Mr Newton has spent countless hours volunteering at the Agape Home for HIV positive orphans and the McKean Leprosy Centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Last week, the father-of-six was the recipient of a Premier’s Volunteer Recognition Award in recognition of his tireless work.
“I was pretty surprised to get it,” Mr Newton said.
“I see it as a privilege that we got to do it as a family and I get to go there every year.”
Mr Newton has led the school’s senior Christian Service trips to Thailand since 2012 and last year took leave without pay for a full semester to travel to Agape to develop a new English language program that now offers so much hope to the children there.
The chaplain said volunteering gave students the opportunity to help those less fortunate on an everyday level.
“You don’t need to do monumental things to help. In a way, that’s probably what I’m trying to achieve and if we see that happening, it is very satisfying,” he said.
“It’s a great way for our students to see what service looks like. It is also good for my family to be able re-calibrate.”
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall delivered the award and spoke at assembly about the commitment made by the chaplain and his family in this important work.