Home' Aurora : Aurora November 2011 Contents 15
www.mn.catholic.org.au | Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle |
TIM MORAN HAS won many competitions
in his 22 years: movie tickets from 2HD,
a hair dryer from The Newcastle Herald,
a bicycle from Milo and several phones,
including a 24 carat gold Nokia a few
months ago. These all pale in comparison,
however, with his most recent win -- a flight
into space on a Virgin Galactic space craft
in 2015, worth over $200,000!
Virgin Money launched the competition in
July and over 7,000 entries were received.
Each contestant was asked to answer
the question, in 25 words or less, 'What
was your childhood dream?' Tim's winning
response was "Visualise Incredible
Realities Granted I Never Missed Out-on
New-opportunities EverydaY (Virgin Money
acronym) - the world was my oyster!"
One word sums up Tim's reaction to his big
win. "Speechless. I didn't know what to say
then, and I still don't now! It's completely
surreal, I'm still pinching myself." He also
struggles to find words to describe his
excitement about his prize. "Space was
always a dream, something so unattainable,
and now it's actually happening! I know it's
a few years away yet, but I feel so lucky
and blessed to have this opportunity. It's
just mind boggling -- I can't imagine what
it's going to be like sitting in a space ship
looking out a window back towards Earth.
It's just...yeah. No words!" Tim laughs.
Rendering Tim speechless is not an easy
thing to do. The Chisholm Region native and
graduate of All Saints College Maitland is
an accomplished actor and salesman, who
has filled roles in television commercials for
Ikea and Masterchef. He has used his gift
of the gab to help his family raise money for
various charity endeavours, including breast
cancer research and support for people with
Down Syndrome. Tim has also volunteered
his time on several occasions to lead
discussion and reflection groups on Year 10
and Year 12 retreats for St Peter's and St
Mary's Maitland students.
A "people person" to his core, Tim also
carries a strong faith in God. "I believe this
is all happening for a specific reason. I don't
know what the reason is, but I think it will
become clearer as I journey closer to the
actual flight." Tim anticipates that seeing
the universe from a different angle will be
an incredibly moving experience. Will he feel
close to God while flying though space? "I
think I'd be crazy not to. Being in space is
not a naturally human experience. I think
this will have a huge impact on my faith."
Tim recalled the night he entered the
competition. His brother, Nick, wanted to
use the computer. "Nick was saying, 'Come
on, get off! What are you even doing?' I told
him I was entering this competition, and he
said, 'As if you'll ever win that, get out of my
way!'" But on Monday 10 October, Nick was
proven wrong when a camera crew strolled
into Optus Sydney Central, where Tim is
Store Co-ordinator, to announce that Tim
had indeed won one of the most incredible
prizes ever offered in any competition.
Ironically, neither the phone salesman's
mother, father, brother or sister answered
their phones the first time he called. He
left some frantic voicemail messages, and
eventually his Mum called back in tears.
"She was crying, saying how proud she
was and that I really deserved it. Dad said
he'd believe it when he saw some proof!"
The following morning, an appearance
on "Sunrise" and an article in The Daily
Telegraph broke the news to the rest of the
world. "Even while I was doing the interview
on "Sunrise", my phone was going crazy in
my pocket!" Facebook took care of the rest,
with many of his friends posting links to his
As part of his prize package, Tim jetted off
to New Mexico to meet Sir Richard Branson
less than a week after the news of his win
was announced. Would he be coming home
to Paterson to see his family before he
left? "Probably not. We have the new iPhone
launch on Friday, so the next few days are
going to be hectic," Tim lamented.
Tim credits his family with the development
of his faith, especially his Mum, Kim, an
active member of the Paterson church
community. She also deserves credit for
inspiring Tim to enter the competition in
the first place. "Mum would stick glow in
the dark universe stickers on the ceiling
over my bed when I was a kid and tell me,
'Anything is possible. The sky is the limit.'
When I read about the competition, I knew
I had to enter." While Tim will quite literally
reach that limit his Mum talked about, he
thinks we could all learn something from
his experience. "Dream big. Don't put
limitations on yourself because literally
anything is possible."
RECENTLY THE CHILDREN from
St Peter's Primary at Stockton
participated in the "Living Streets"
program organised by Newcastle City
Council. This project aims to plant
30,000 trees in the Newcastle area,
including 1,700 in Stockton. The
children attended the launch of the
program at Stockton Public School,
along with Mayor of Newcastle, John
Tate. Following this, they worked in
teams with council staff, planting trees
in Dunbar Street. The following week,
two environmental educators visited
the school to present lessons about
the value of trees and the importance
of keeping the streets clean so that
rubbish isn't washed into stormwater
drains. It looks like the "Living Streets"
program will be a great success.
By ANNA HUMPHRIES
to Major Tim
Streets alive at Stockton By DENIS PRENDERGAST
Children from St Peter s participating in the "Living
Streets" program run by Newcastle City Council.
Photo courtesy of
Marco Del Grande.
Former St Mary's Maitland student
Tim Moran will become the Hunter's
first man to launch into space
Tim with Sir Richard Branson
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