Life Begins At...

The Retiree Magazine Summer 2011-12

Life Begins At.....

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CELEBRITY FEATURE Kids' [ Saviour Father Chris Riley From a quite childhood on a farm in country Victoria to the bustling streets of central Sydney, Father Chris Riley talks to Kathryn Edwards about his life's journey which saw him helping homeless youths and eventually establishing the fl ourishing charity Youth Off The Streets, which is now celebrating 20 years of service. ] Tell us a bit about your childhood and what it was growing up which swayed your foray into youth work? I guess I was very much a shy and introverted kid and I spent most of my time with animals rather than people. My parents were so concerned that they actually sent me to a boarding school, while my other four siblings just went to the local school. They thought that would bring me out of my shell. At the age of 14 I saw the old Boys Town movie with Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney which had an incredible impact on me. I decided that's what I wanted to be – a priest that worked with homeless kids, orphans in those days I guess they were called. Being brought up in a country town on a dairy farm I had never heard of anything like that; I hadn't heard of abuse of children at all. A few months after being at boarding school I was playing Aussie Rules football in Victoria and I looked across to the beautiful lake area on that school and I saw this big blue bus drive slowly up the driveway and 6 THE RETIREE SUMMER

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