It used to be hard to go back to Kings Meadows High without Aaron there, but I enjoy going back now and just know how much Aaron would love that I still spend time there. It was nice to be able to sit with Tracey and Rob who was one of the organisers of the Mental Health Forum. Their son Bowen won the Aaron King Memorial Award last year.
I don't really get nervous about presenting the awards, but just before I get up my heart starts racing and I feel quite emotional as they read out what the awards are for.
This year the Aaron King Memorial Award was awarded to Jordan Talbot. I was so happy when I found out it was Jordan because he was in Noah's class at school.
He's a lovely guy and I know Aaron would've loved that it went to him. The award is for a grade 9 student who is hard working, compassionate, tries their hardest academically and has a love of sport (what the school believe are qualities that Aaron had). Aaron loved all of his students, but I know that the kids that he really would've had a soft spot for all the winners of his memorial award because I know he would've gotten along really well with them.
The Noah King Memorial Award goes to a Child Studies student who shows a genuine concern for children and who may have a future in working with children. Every year I would visit the Child Studies class with Noah to talk to them about life with a child with a disability, so when Noah passed away Aaron decided that he really wanted to set up the memorial award at school. I never would've thought that the next year I would be presenting two memorial awards.
This year the Noah King Memorial Award went to Hayley Burr. She seemed lovely as well.
It was lovely to talk to the principal at Kings Meadows and to hear her story about the short time that she worked with Aaron (she wasn't the principal when he passed away) and how she will never forget the speech he gave in an assembly that had everyone in tears. She said he spoke about Noah and it was talking about Make a Wish as they were going to be having a charity day at school to raise money for Make a Wish. It's always lovely to hear stories about him. I'm grateful that the schools allow me to continue to present the awards every year, as it means so much to carry on their memories in such a special way.