Brydan set for his audience with the president

GREETINGS: Nowra High School captain Brydan Toner is ready to meet US President Barack Obama.
GREETINGS: Nowra High School captain Brydan Toner is ready to meet US President Barack Obama.

NOWRA High School captain Brydan Toner has been given the opportunity of a lifetime, to possibly meet President Barack Obama after winning a competition run by Gilmore MP Joanna Gash.

The 16-year-old answered Mrs Gash’s call for interested applicants to accompany her to Parliament House as her plus one.

Ms Gash said she received 53 applications, and while some were funny, most were very impressive. However it was Mr Toner’s application that really caught her eye.

“I chose him because he wanted to use the experience to make himself a better person and so he could communicate his experience with others and give back to others,” she said.

Brydan received the call from Mrs Gash on Sunday night notifying him of his success. “I was in awe. I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ when she called. It was totally out of the blue and it wasn’t expected,” he said.

He will now accompany Mrs Gash to Canberra and attend a dinner with President Obama tonight (Wednesday) and a presidential address at Parliament House on Thursday.

Although it’s unclear if Brydan will meet President Obama personally, Mrs Gash hoped he would at least get the opportunity to shake his hand.

As well as captaining the local high school, Brydan is very interested in politics and current affairs.

“As a kid I’ve just been interested in the law-making process and what goes into operating a country,” he said.

Brydan, who has recently been re-elected as a member of the NSW YWCA Youth Parliament, said he looked up to leaders such as Nelson Mandela, JFK and, of course, President Obama.

“Just the fact that he is serving his term under such economic conditions and the fact that he is getting on with it and doing his job really well is great,” he said.