2018 Student Volunteer of the Year (Undergraduate)
While undertaking a double degree, Jackson Bursill combined his passion for fitness and helping others by establishing two endurance events to raise money and awareness for social causes.
As a Youth Ambassador for the Australian Himalayan Foundation, Jackson launched the Neverest Challenge in response to the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015. Participants climb the equivalent vertical height of Mt Everest by completing numerous laps of the same hill.
In early 2017 Jackson took part in the inaugural Myanmar Community Legal Education project, running Legal Education classes for law students at two Myanmar Universities. His concern for the current crisis faced by more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has partly inspired his second event, Bounding Plains to Share.
Jackson and co-founder Cassie Cohen ran 4,000km from Cooktown, Queensland to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne to help change the way Australia talks about asylum seekers and immigrants.
"Each day that we ran we shared the story of a refugee or migrant who had settled in the area that we were running through. We were attempting to reassert the humanity back into the discussion surrounding refugees and asylum seekers. The process of accepting refugees is a fundamental exercise in empathy. I don't think, as a society, we would accept refugees if we couldn't appreciate what it might feel like to flee your country in fear for your life. So to be informed on this issue is to be emotionally informed."
The campaign also raised funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre which served as the finish line for the adventure.
Jackson represented ANU at the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships in the University's top ranked team in 2012 and, in 2013, won the ANU International Business Plan competition (a team award). Jackson was also an elite cross-country skier who represented Australia in the Nordic Ski World Championships in Sweden in 2015 and at the Asian Winter Games in 2017. Jackson was awarded a full blue by the University in 2014.