Harrison Craig sang his way into many Australians’ hearts when he won The Voice in 2013.
The 23-year-old scored a legion of new younger fans on Tuesday when he visited Warrawong Public School.
Craig read from his book Harrison’s Song, and spoke to students about how he used music to overcome hardship and adversity.
“I really wanted to make an example of my experiences and try to educate children while they're young about the understanding of those around them and to be compassionate, understanding and to show empathy, and to be willing to learn and be open-minded,” he said.
These tools and his love of music helped Craig deal with his stutter when he was younger.
“I just want to show them they can overcome their hurdles and challenges through their passion,” he said.
You want to make sure everyone around you is really empowered to do the best that they can do because we are all trying to do the best we can every day.Harrison Craig
“For me it was music. For them it might be something else but there are tools from this you can get to apply to your own challenges or hurdles.
“Literacy is important but it is also important to address the issues or challenges or hurdles you might have and put in place tools and methods to learn to work through that.”
Craig was also in town to promote early reading in conjunction with the United Way Australia Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and Warrawong Public School’s holiday reading initiative Read Strong Warrawong.
We are a school that we don’t tolerate bullying and it is something that is very important.Nicole Fothergill
Warrawong Public School assistant principal K-2 Deborah McIlwain said the school gave six books to each student from kindergarten to year 3 as part of the program.
“We encourage reading as a way to future success and lifelong learning,” she said.
Nicole Fothergill, Warrawong Public School’s instructional leader for K-2, added Craig dealt well with some important issues in his book.
“We are a school that we don’t tolerate bullying and it is something that is very important,” she said.
“But also teaching the students the ways to manage that – being resilient, believing in themselves and speaking up for themselves.
“I think [Craig’s] his big messages that everyone has dreams and to just strive for that...that’s something we are trying to instill in our students.
“We are trying to get them to be the best they can be so they can succeed in the wider world.”
This is a sentiment Craig, who is set to release his fourth album in April, supports wholeheartedly.
“You want to make sure everyone around you is really empowered to do the best that they can do because we are all trying to do the best we can every day.
“So if I can help to lift anyone up then I’ll absolutely do that,” he said.
Craig also dropped by Fairy Meadow Demonstration School on Tuesday afternoon.