ACTOR Samuel Johnson made a splash at McClelland College’s Love Your Sister event last week.
The actor visited the school on Friday to speak about the charity he co-founded with his sister, Connie, who has battled cancer since age 11.
The visit was organised by the college’s Working in the Media MAP classes.
Year 10 student Karabo Tlokotsi said the Love Your Sister concept arose from three goals Connie set her brother.
“These were, to set a world record for the most distance travelled on a unicycle, to raise $1 million and to spread the message of breast cancer awareness,” she said.
“Now, a few years later, Love Your Sister is a recognised charity and has set a new fundraising goal of raising $10 million.”
In February last year, Johnson rode his unicycle almost 16,000km over 365 days, breaking the world record for the longest unicycle journey and raising $1,477,630, to fulfil the first goal. He and his sister donated the money to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research to further cancer research.
Johnson – well known for his role as Evan Wylde in The Secret Life of Us TV series – told the students about the importance of family and about how young people should not say they “hate” their parents, Karabo said.
“He also talked about how you shouldn’t leave anything on a bad note with your parents because, when they die, you would’ve said you hated them.
“Life is too short.”
Johnson recounted how, tragically, his mother had committed suicide when he was three years of age. “I would give anything to have a mother again,” he said.
“He reminded us to ‘go home and tell mum to check her breasts’ – yes, he actually said this,” Karabo said.
“He showed us a 40-minute video showing his journey on the unicycle around Australia. It also showed Connie’s battle with cancer and how badly it affected her whenever she went out to visit Samuel.”
The MAP students spent months organising the event and fundraising, culminating in the presentation of $1000 to the charity.
The MAP program is held Wednesdays over two periods. Students take classes “in subjects they really enjoy”, such as sport, working in the media, and even baking.
Our thanks to Karabo Tlokotsi for her report