Year 7&8 Village: Faith in Action Opportunities
Collingwood Cottage is a food bank organised and run through a local parish.
Small groups of students from homerooms across Year 7 spend a morning helping out at this food bank in our local community as part of our program to live put our faith into action. Over the course of the year students from all homerooms in Year 7 will spend a morning assisting at Collingwood Cottage as part of their Religious Education studies.
This program provides our students with an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the parable of the Good Samaritan and it helps transform their understanding of what it means to live out the gospel values in their day to day lives. Each student takes something different away from their time at Collingwood Cottage, their reflections on their visits reveal that their perceptions are altered by their experiences at the cottage.
Year 9&10 Village: Faith in Action Opportunities
Students in Year 9 work towards a Good Samaritan Service Certificate by making clear and explicit connections between the Community Service component of their Duke of Edinburgh Award and Gospel Values. Students are invited to reflect through a range of activities in their pastoral and RE programs how serving a community is their opportunity to live out the story of the Good Samaritan parable.
Billabong BBQ is an event held each week for the local Aboriginal community to meet and access local health care services in a culturally sensitive way. Small groups of year 10 students spend a morning being with this community to learn more about inequality experienced by Aboriginal Australians in their local community. This is paired with an exploration of the Royal Botanic Gardens with our Koori Education Advocate and an Aboriginal Elder to grow in understanding of the full impact of colonisation on Wurundjeri land.
These opportunities in the middle years explore the many dimensions of service in meaningful and contemporary settings. Our Year 9 & 10 students are invited to see Social Justice from a variety of perspectives and how their personal attributes can be agents for social change.
Year 11&12 Village: Faith in Action Opportunities
The Year 11 Street Retreat gives students the opportunity to develop empathy through exposure to experiences of homelessness, hunger and social isolation on the streets of Melbourne. In the evening, students have the option of volunteering at inner city Food Vans or participating in a City Justice Walk. The Food vans are part of the outreach program of the Christian Brothers, and students join teams of adult volunteers in bringing food and conversation to those in need. Alternatively, they may participate in the City Justice Walk, which helps students identify some of the challenges and inequities embedded in the social structures of our city.
The following day, students are placed in a range of volunteer organisations that work with asylum seekers, refugees, newly arrived migrants, the elderly, young people and adults with special needs, and other marginalized groups.
The Philippines Immersion experience offers our Year 11 students the opportunity to further depth their understanding of our Benedictine Good Samaritan values of creating a just and peaceful society.
Students visit the Good Samaritan Kinder School in Bacolod which was established in 2004 by the Good Samaritan sisters as a gateway to education for the urban poor of the community. Throughout the immersion, students volunteer at the Kinder School, the Women’s Community Centre, and help with a food program for children in one of the local slum areas in the city.
The immersion experience has a profound impact on our students. It opens their hearts and minds to a community that lives in difficult conditions and yet is so positive and embracing of life. As one of our past student participants has commented; The Philippines immersion experience has really changed me as a person. I can’t stress enough how incredible this eye-opening experience is and the impact it now has on my life. I will never regret the day I chose to apply for this amazing opportunity. Finny Iakovidis.