At age 5, after his father deserted his family, Byron Campbell and his 3-year-old sister, Ruth, were sent to an orphanage run by Catholic nuns.

At age 7, Byron was sent to St. Michaels — an all-boys orphanage in Baulkham Hills, NSW. Ruth later went to Lane Cove across the harbour from Sydney. “It felt like countries apart,” Byron said, “Ruth and I didn’t have any way to stay in contact.”

Now 89, the memories of this time are as vivid to him now as they were back then. He remembers the trauma of clinging to his mother’s leg during her once-monthly visits, despite feeling loved by the nuns.

Byron went on to spend a total of four years in the orphanage — two years with Ruth and two years by himself. Helping to care for the younger boys in the orphanage forced Byron to grow up quickly and develop his hard-working and determined attitude. Byron went on to have a family and a successful career including owning a hotel and a printing company.

Having not forgotten the circumstances he once found himself in, Byron wants to give others the same chance he had to gain independence.

To do this, he chose to donate to Mission Australia and leave a bequest. Since then, he has seen firsthand how services like Missionbeat and Triple Care Farm operate.

“I’ve always appreciated the warmth, commitment and compassion that Mission Australia shows as they extend a hand to those in need.”

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