Former Dapto High School student Corey Tutt has been honoured as a "hero" by the Australian Human Rights Commission this week for his work in helping children get involved in science.
The 28-year-old Kamilaroi man is an Indigenous mentor, a university researcher and the founder of the Deadly Science charity which provides science books and equipment to schools in remote areas.
This year the organisation also provided books and resources to schools on the South Coast that had been ravaged by bushfires.
"Education should be for everyone and there's kids in Australia who don't get the resources they deserve," he said.
Mr Tutt said he had a "rough time at school" because he "didn't fit the mould" and was often told he shouldn't follow certain career paths.
Since Deadly Science began, Mr Tutt has raised more than $33,000 to purchase books and equipment, and distributed more than 4300 books and 70 telescopes. He is also engaged with more than 90 schools throughout Australia.
It's also the reason the philanthropist was awarded the NSW Young Australian of the Year in in November 2019.
Mr Tutt is now one of 10 finalists in the #HumanRightsHeroes campaign named on Monday, after the commission called for nominations of people and organisations who had made the most positive and inspiring contribution to human rights on the ground in Australia.
Other finalists in the campaign include frontline workers, community volunteers and a refugee running marathons to fundraise for legal services for other refugees.
Australian Human Rights Commission President Rosalind Croucher said this year's finalists "represent the best among us".
"These are people who have fought hard to protect the human rights of others in the community, who have selflessly put others before themselves - often in dangerous situations," she said.
"They have defended Indigenous heritage, they have furthered the right to education, and - above all - they have protected people's lives.
"The #HumanRightsHeroes campaign is our way of thanking and recognising these people and organisations who have made a genuine difference in this difficult year."
For Mr Tutt it is another accolade to a long list of many, but being nominated for awards is just another way to shine a light on his work and make a difference, he said.
"I feel like these awards are a responsibility ... to set a good example," he said.
"I've worked really hard to get to this point in my life, but if that's going to help young kids out there find a love for science and education then it's all worth it."