Dr Richard ‘Harry’ Harris named Wilkins Foundation patron
Harry the Hero wants to breathe new life into the legacy of SA-born polar explorer and war correspondent Sir George Hubert Wilkins (1888-1958), a courageous and determined man who appreciated global climate patterns and foresaw long-range weather forecasts.
Wilkins’ voyage beneath the ice pack in the North Pole led to weather stations at both Poles, each instrumental to the science of climate change.
As patron of the Wilkins Foundation and Australian of the Year, Dr Richard “Harry” Harris, best known for his role in the dramatic underwater rescue of Thai boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave, wants to “get kids off screens and into the outdoors”.
Yesterday, Dr Harris said Wilkins was a great role model who should be a household name and part of the school curriculum.
He said Wilkins was known for the concept of global climate and, “most of all, his ability to complete any project that he set his mind to, despite the enormous challenges that he faced and in the face of all the naysayers and sceptics that told him such things could not be done”.
“There’s nothing I enjoy more personally, in my very much smaller exploration quests, than when someone says ‘No you can’t go to that cave’ or ‘You can’t possibly dive that deep’,” he said.
Two Australian divers who played a key role in the rescue of a junior soccer team from a Thai cave have returned to the site for the first time since July last year.
Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen returned to the cave complex at the invitation of the Thai government, after having lunch with the 12 members of the Wild Boars team and their coach.
The pair were also awarded royal honours in Bangkok for their part in the rescue, which saw them give medical checks to the boys and sedate them before they were escorted out of the cave by a team of divers.
Australian divers return to Thai cave for first time since rescue
“It immediately makes me more and more determined.”
Dr Harris also believes we must act now to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change.
“The risk of that theory being correct and us not doing anything about us is overwhelming,” he said. “It’s going to cost more money to address the problem but in a country like ours, it’s our responsibility to lead the way.”
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Originally published as Heroic Dr Harry embraces a visionary