Jye was nominated for the Fred Hollows Humanity Award for his efforts by Principal Peter Green who "believes that Jye demonstrates not only the care and compassion that are the criteria for the Award, but also an exceptional degree of passion and initiative to act upon a desire to make a difference in his world."
One Monday morning in May, Jye approached Mr Green about friend Mick Craig who had been diagnosed with invasive brain cancer that has recently become inoperable. As a member of the Australian Army, Mick has served the country and received many honours and award including the Conspicuous Service Medal which he was awarded in the 2013 Australia Day Honours List.
With only three to 18 months to live, Jye approached Mr Green and told him he would like help Mick by raising funds to be used for the purpose of promoting research, heightening awareness and supporting brain cancer patients and their families within the community.
"Jye’s plan was simple, to stage some exhibition games of touch football between our Year 5 and 6 students. Funds would be raised by passing buckets around among the students and through selling snacks during the game," says Mr Green.
With the assistance of the schools' Mini Vinnies team of students and teachers, Jye worked to plan and promote the event, 'Kick it for Mick' in just four days throughout both the school and local community.
On the day of the event, members of the school Mini Vinnies team brought along snacks and drinks to sell to the spectators – all donated by their families.
"The exhibition games began, the buckets were passed around and the food and drinks were sold out; in total, we raised $680.60 . . . a wonderful result from a small school of just 125 students," says Mr Green.
Mick Craig spoke to the students before the exhibition games of his passion as a young boy to serve his country in the Australian Army, and he urged students to follow their dreams also.
This was just the beginning.
Jye’s parents, Michelle and John-Paul continued the appeal by linking up with the Mark Hughes Foundation, organising a 'Kick it for Mick' fundraiser at the Caves Beach Resort. On Saturday 18 June, supporters of the Mark Hughes Foundation and Jye’s 'Kick it for Mick' campaign were invited to wear a beanie and come along to the resort for an evening of drinks, finger food, entertainment, auctions and raffles.
In the lead-up to the Caves Beach Resort function, Jye contacted local businesses for donations, promoted the event and organised weekly meetings to ensure that the event ran smoothly. At Jye’s invitation, Mark Hughes and his family attended the function.
Jye was the assistant Master of Ceremonies at the function, where he also delivered a tribute to Mick and a well-researched speech about the importance of supporting people who have been diagnosed with brain cancer. In total, 201 people attended the event which raised $18,900.
The appeal then spread to other local schools – Caves Beach Primary School raised $420, Nords Wharf Primary School raised $450 and Swansea High School raised $600.
In total, over $21,000 has been raised. 'Kick it for Mick will now become an annual event, and Jye is already planning for next year’s event.
"Undoubtedly, when we look back on the highlights of 2016 at St Patrick’s Swansea, 'Kick it for Mick' will be up there with the best of them," says Mr Green.
"As the principal of St Patrick’s, it is hard to put into words the pride that I have felt as I have seen Jye responding to a cause that had had such a profound and personal impact on him. The founder of the Order of Sisters who established our school, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, had a motto: “Never see a need without doing something about it”. Jye saw a need and he did something about it!"
The Humanity Award recognises year six students from across NSW who follow in Fred Hollows’ footsteps by showing care and compassion for others. All nominees will be recognised in a special presentation ceremony at NSW Parliament House on September 5.