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



Week of highs for Bundaberg Sugar

SWEET: The sugar crush is going well.

There is plenty of good news for Bundaberg sugar

Bundy skating rink to close after 30 years

MEMORIES: Koby Irvine at Extreme Skate Zone.

End of an era for rolling skating rink

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual