INTERVIEW: Young Aus of the Year has ‘deadly’ passion
Corey Tutt was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year and when you find out about his life, you see why he was so very deserving. His father left when Corey was only two after a history of violence within the family. He is one of those rare 20-somethings who puts others needs ahead of his own. He works two jobs to assist indigenous children to read and gain a passion for learning. His organisation Deadly Science has donated over 7000 books to over 100 schools in remote communities across Australia.
Matt Collins: Your father left when you were only two. Have you reconciled that relationship since then?
Corey Tutt: It's a bit too far gone now I guess. We've had a couple of conversations over social media. It's been 25 years and I know the story and the history of how he came to leave my mum. So it's been something that I haven't wanted to look into.
MC: Why did the relationship end?
CT: I was only two but it was due to domestic violence. My sister pretty much raised me from a young fella. She was only five years older than me. So when I was five she was only 10 and she was getting me dressed for school and cooking me dinner and all that.
MC: Let's talk about Deadly Science. How did it all start?
CT: It starts from when I wanted to be a zookeeper. I was told I couldn't do it. There just wasn't the opportunities to do it. I started to talking to kids about science. Like, did you know that an octopus has nine brains, four hearts and blue blood? That's a true alien right there.
MC: Wow. I did not know that.
CT: So it was these sort of things that made me realise our kids are inquisitive. They just don't have the resources. As well as our students in these remote areas are relying on our schools for a nutritious meal because food is just really expensive out there.
MC: Is it true you Googled most remote school in Australia just to see how bad things really were?
CT: Yeah, and the more I uncovered the more I realised I needed to help. So I packed up every book I owned. One school turned into four, which turned into 15, to now over 100 schools. Now I feel like I am on this journey with them.
MC: Speaking of journeys, congratulations on your Young Australian of the Year award.
CT: Yeah, thank you. It's funny though, I psyched myself out so much I didn't even write a speech. I don't do what I do for awards. I do it so I can help kids believe in themselves and grow. It was more about sharing the experience with as many people as I could, especially all the students.