It was a sold out event when 2019 Australian of the Year, Dr Craig Challen, visited Hale School this week as part of the Richard Goyder Visiting Fellows programme.
Dr Challen was one of the lead cave divers charged with rescuing 13 boys stranded in a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018. By the time he arrived at the scene, 13 days in, rescue options were becoming limited and the outcome was looking bleak.
Against all odds, Dr Challen, his dive partner and fellow 2019 Australian of the Year, Dr Richard Harris and their team, managed to get all 13 boys and their coach out alive in a massive, untested, world-first effort. Dr Harris, an anaesthetist, and Dr Challen, a veterinarian, used their medical knowldge to anaesthetise the boys to tackle the treacherous three-hour journey underwater through the caves.
Dr Challen, a West Australian, told his story with such honest and humility, he had the crowd enthralled. What an inspiration to us all!