Surf Coast Secondary stalwart awarded coveted service award

January 9, 2022 BY

Surf Coast Secondary head of student well-being Peter Raidme accepting the Blue Ribbon Foundation Community Service Award from the Geelong Youth Engagement Group. Photo: SUPPLIED

A NAME synonymous with education on the Surf Coast has been commended for his length of service throughout the region at this year’s Geelong Youth Engagement Breakfast launch.

Surf Coast Secondary College head of student well-being Peter Raidme was bestowed with one of his highest honours to date after he was awarded the Blue Ribbon Foundation Community Service Award by the Geelong Youth Engagement Group.

The “almost local” Torquay resident said he had no idea he was being given the award and that he thought it was just a regular annual breakfast hosted by the GYE group.

When his wife and his son decided to “tag” along to the event, Mr Raidme knew something was up and before he could react, he found himself centre stage accepting the Community Service Award and giving a speech.

“I was very shocked and surprised,” Mr Raidme said.

“It was undoubtedly very humbling because everyone there does something for the kids in our regions, so it only made sense to accept the award on behalf of everyone.”

The award for Mr Raidme comes after what has arguably been one of the toughest two-year periods on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the students he loves so dearly at Surf Coast Secondary.

This has by no means slowed the efforts of Mr Raidme during this time, having gotten numerous community specific programs off the ground in this time.

A six-week netball refereeing course for a group of female Surf Coast Secondary students and a counterpart golfing program for male students has been key in developing necessary life-skills throughout the year nine cohort during one of their highly formative years.

Mr Raidme continues to prepare hand-selected students to go on the GYE-run Kokoda Trail camp, community fundraising, local food aid donations, his much-loved role at the Torquay Tigers Football Club and finding secondary students employment experiences and opportunities.

Mr Raidme has called Torquay home for the last 46 years and has been teaching for over 30 of those. He firmly stands by saying he lives in the best place on Earth, as it has everything you could ever want and it’s a fantastic place to bring up kids.

“I have a great belief in youth,” Mr Raidme said.

“When I hear people my age saying this and that about the kids today, I know that they can’t persuade me because I know for sure the world is in great hands.

“We have such a great opportunity on the Surf Coast with its lifestyle, its atmosphere and the outdoors. Getting the kids outdoors and being active will always continue to be my primary objective.”

Mr Raidme thanked principal Erin Wright and the rest of the team at Surf Coast Secondary for allowing him to help the students in any way he can.

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