Voluntarily stepping foot in a high-security prison might not be most people’s idea of a good time, but Andrew Fisher is not easily intimidated.
Before he was an inspirational speaker he was a V8 Supercar driver, best known for his unusual major sponsor. The ‘Jesus Racing’ car and its driver will be at Eastern Creek Raceway this weekend for a free family fun day hosted by Mr Fisher’s organisation, Life Choices Foundation.
In recent years the racing has taken a back seat to the charity work, which has seen him speak to more than 250,000 students in high schools around Australia.
Mr Fisher’s message is that in life, as with racing, every choice matters.
I believe in people and believe everyone has an opportunity to make something better with their life.
“It’s about really challenging people to stop and think about important life choices around a range of issues,” he said. “It’s their life and it’s up to them to take control.”
Mr Fisher said young people today are growing up in a more selfish world, which is leading to higher rates of depression and other mental illnesses.
“Young people are no more complicated than when we were young, it’s just the environment they operate in that’s more complex,” he said.
“Their life’s being recorded. They're absolutely under more scrutiny. That’s not an excuse, that’s just a reality.”
Five years ago he started taking his message into correctional centres; something Mr Fisher said was a natural progression based on his Christian values.
“I believe in people and believe everyone has an opportunity to make something better with their life,” he said.
“I like to think that everybody can have a hope for a brighter future. Those guys are quite often forgotten and labelled, but they’re human beings like the rest of us. They may have gotten life wrong and made some poor decisions but that’s no reason to give up on them.
“They most likely need to make a change in their life, and that’s not always easy. It takes courage to do that. So it’s challenging them to be courageous enough to make those choices.”
The family fun day at Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek, will feature a car display, free rides including dodgem cars, a petting zoo, V8 hot laps, slot cars, gladiator duels, and much more.
The event runs from 10am to 4pm on Sunday, July 23, and entry is via a gold coin donation.