Tim Webster has overcome challenges throughout his life to dedicate his remaining days to bringing happiness to people all over the world.
The South West Rocks resident knew from an early age he would spend his life helping others, after a strong community support group had helped his single mother while he was being treated for leukemia from two until five.
The 36-year-old now runs a charity called Humanitarian Clown and has travelled the world putting smiles on the faces of those suffering.
“I had a light bulb go off in my head at a cancer patient support camp when I witnessed a magician performing tricks for a group of children,” Mr Webster said.
“They were all laughing and enjoying the show and for the 30-minutes they forgot about their illnesses, the treatment and all the bad stuff happening to them.
“I knew that is what I wanted to do - to help others like I was helped when I was sick.”
Mr Webster, who was 21 at the time, booked a ticket to Africa to travel for three months.
It was in Uganda when he had another life changing moment.
“I was two weeks into my travels and I saw a group of four kids playing cards who looked like they could have been on the front cover of a World Vision magazine – they were skinny and in rags,” Mr Webster said.
He went over to the children and showed them a couple of card magic tricks. They were delighted and requested more.
Mr Webster left the small group for five minutes to grab his backpack, which had his magic tools and by the time he returned, a crowd of around 150 people were waiting for him to put on a performance.
“It was an amazing experience, it was exactly the thing I was searching for,” he said.
“I put on a 40-minute performance and they were all laughing and enjoying it so much. They were forgetting about their hardships and pain and enjoying a free show.”
He spent the remaining two and a half months of his trip travelling down the east coast of Africa knocking on the doors of orphanages to put on shows for kids.
After returning, Mr Webster spent time in the Northern Territory helping indigenous communities better their education and lifestyle before he received an opportunity to work with the Australian Volunteers International at a tribal village in India in 2008.
It was there where he received an understanding of how the disadvantaged individuals lived and it was “heartbreaking” for him to see the children on the street.
“We set up health camps, showed them how to be sustainable with their income and contributed to their education,” Mr Webster said.
His work over the next four years was recognised by Dr Patch Adams and he was invited to join the doctor at San Jose in Costa Rica for two weeks where he performed alongside Dr Adams as a medical clown.
It inspired him, alongside his mother Margueritte Flower, to start the Humanitarian Clowns in 2012 which has allowed him to recruit other like-minded volunteers and travel to Vellore in India and perform at the Christian Medical College Hospital.
After six consecutive years, the Humanitarian Clowns non-for-profit organisation has left its mark in Vellore.
“I wanted to leave a big clown footprint behind and I want it to be continuous,” Mr Webster said
“Organisations go and do something and it is great for a small time but then when you leave it is over.”
The Humanitarian Clowns have built a school which is now in its fifth year and has 50 students attending while they have set up a program that sees Indian University students volunteer as clowns at the hospital.
Mr Webster travels to Nepal on August 16 to help with the clean up from the 2015 earthquake.
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