Over the years, Corey Loader has faced some difficult times in his life living with Autism and has struggled with depression.
His mother, Coral, believed that the best way to keep Corey positive was for him to find a purpose, find what he was passionate about and allow him to discover a sense of achievement by contributing to the world. With this in mind, Coral encouraged Corey to get involved with Scouts and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in 2016.
Scouts and the Award have taken Corey on an amazing journey of self-discovery. He has uncovered hidden talents, given tirelessly to help his local community and make a difference in the world and even started his own business.
For his Adventurous Journey, Corey took a trip to Japan where he attended a Scouting Jamboree for young people with special needs called “Agoonoree”. Corey was amazed by the experiences he had in Japan and all the wonderful sights he got to see.
“At the Scout camp, I met the Singapore scouts, the Korean scouts, the Irish Rovers, Japanese scouts, and Malaysian scouts. I learned how to eat food with chopsticks, went in an earthquake simulator, I met the Prince of Japan and his daughter, and we heard the sunpu rangers music group. Our troop did the rainbow serpent for a Scout World theme show, and I was the head of the snake. I learned a lot about Japan while I was there like. I learned that Tokyo Sky Tower was the tallest tower in the world, that they make ice cream out of seafood, they had owl cafes, and there's an island made out of broken pottery!”
For his Voluntary Service Section of his Award, Corey volunteered with his local community after they were affected by fires and many local residents lost their homes.
Corey helped to set up recovery dinners and provide emotional support and helped plant trees on local properties.
For his Skill, Corey learned about flying small planes through Air Scouts – flying is something Corey has become extremely passionate about.
“When I'm in the air, I feel free from my old life and it just lets me be. I don't know how to describe the feeling but it's a good one. I enjoy flying with my flight instructor and I hope I inspire others to follow their passion no matter what they're capable of.”
Although Corey wishes that one-day rules will change to allow him to go for a licence to fly, he does not let this stop him from pursuing his passion. When he is in the air, he learns about the control panels and signals.
Corey feels that The Duke of Ed inspired him to try new things and give any opportunity a go. It was this determination that allowed Corey to discover his hidden talent in creating dog beds from recycled tyres. He has even made a business out of this talent and started to sell the beds he makes.
Corey’s successes also led him to achieve his Queen’s Scout Award - the highest Honour in the world of Scouting.
Starting his Gold Award this year, Corey wants to volunteer for “Solar Buddy”, an Australian charity working internationally to educate and empower the next generation to change the lives of children living in energy poverty through its innovative school education and corporate engagement programs which supply solar lights to places that don’t have power like Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Last year Corey began fundraising for the organisation, expending a lot of time and effort to collect and recycle old car batteries, raising $400 to support the cause.
“There's a lot in the world that I can't do but if I focused on those things I wouldn't be where I am today. This is where The Duke of Ed encourages people to try new things and go beyond their boundaries.”