LIFE CHANGING: Ryan Sharman says the Gympie community helped him go from terrified teenager to confident commercial radio announcer, comedian and voice-over artist.
LIFE CHANGING: Ryan Sharman says the Gympie community helped him go from terrified teenager to confident commercial radio announcer, comedian and voice-over artist. Patrick Woods

Child Protection Week march

RYAN Sharman was so shy four years ago, he sometimes could not muster the courage to order at a restaurant.

"I'd just freak out," he said.

Now 19 and a smooth voiced radio presenter and confident public speaker, the Gympie voice-over artist and stand up comedian has left those teenage fears behind.

But he knows better than most how pressures on many families can affect the children.

He says foster care, a continuing contact with his mother and a challenging moment at Cooloola Christian Radio helped him conquer his fears.

"On my first day as a radio volunteer, the manager asked me what I would least like to do.

"I said 'radio announcing."

"He said, 'OK, here's a microphone, don't swear.'

"Within 45 minutes they offered me a full time traineeship," he said.

Anglicare Gympie service manager Sue Mills says there are a lot of professional people out there trying to help and a lot of decent everyday people, like that radio station manager who put Mr Sharman in a position where he had no choice but to conquer his fears.

Since then he has also worked in commercial radio and his future is bright.

One of the aims of tomorrow's Child Protection Week march in Gympie is to promote the role we can all play in giving kids a go.

Although local figures can be hard to find, Queensland statistics show that a lot of families and children need help. Tomorrow's march begins with a rendezvous at Memorial Lne at 9.45am, a Mary St procession and a free barbecue in Nelson Reserve.

Gympie Times


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