Ruyton Girls School Annual Report 2013 - page 7

Community Awareness
‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service
of others.’
Mahatma Gandhi
The Community Awareness Programme allows students to
explore links between the School community, the local
community and the wider world. The programme fosters
a sense of personal and social responsibility by encouraging
girls to empathise with and serve others. Girls are supported
to take on new challenges and further develop valuable skills,
such as communication, teamwork, planning and leadership.
We have heard frommany inspirational guest speakers,
including Ms Millie Parker from Yooralla, who spoke about
her life living with a brain injury and Ms Soreti Kadir,
a Youth Ambassador for World Vision, who enlightened us
about her life-changing visit to Malawi and her quest to
end global hunger. In addition, Ruyton’s 2012 Co-Captain,
Ms Charlotte Inge, described her experiences on the
OakTree Foundation’s Road trip to End Poverty. These
thought-provoking presentations showed students the
benefits of life-long community service.
Throughout the year students have been working tirelessly
to collect food items, clothes, linen, nappies and toys for the
SIDS foundation, St Vincent de Paul, and theWesley
Mission, which has assisted thousands of Australian
families who go without the basic necessities each day.
Year 7 compiled Christmas gifts for the Smith Family and
Year 8 collected stationery for Cambodian children.
Ruyton’s fairy floss stall at Xavier’s May time fair raised
a total of $2015.95 for the Jesuit Mission. Special thanks
must be given to those students who participated in the
inter-school drama competition and to those who flaunted
their style on the catwalk in the fashion parade. Over 40
girls also sacrificed their Sunday morning, contributing
$2266 to the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Door Knock.
The FareShare Schools in the Kitchen programme provided
a unique opportunity for Year 9 students to learn about the
reality of hunger in our community. The girls prepared
meals which were distributed to schools with children from
disadvantaged backgrounds and to community food
programmes run by St Vincent de Paul, local church groups
and women’s shelters. Many of the students said they felt
‘were really making a difference in the community’
they experienced a sense of personal achievement and
fulfilment, showing that Ruyton’s commitment to the
community goes beyond monetary donations. Furthermore,
a group of Year 9 students visited an aged care facility
where they socialised and entertained the residents with
an array of musical items.
A number of students participated in the Oaktree
Foundation’s Live below the Line, living on just $2 per day
for five days, and theWorld Vision 40 Hour Famine, where
they gave up mobiles, speaking, cars, television or food.
They raised over $6000 for malnourished children in
Malawi. The Senior School also celebrated Community
Awareness Day in March and August, raising over $6000
for Destiny Rescue, Yooralla, Skills Opportunity Survival in
Kenya and the Collingwood Language School.
The children from Andale and Bulleen Heights Schools
were delighted to visit Ruyton for their annual Christmas
party, where, alongside their Year 10 mentors, they
participated in a workshop by Bubble Media, followed by
a picnic lunch, strengthening the relationship we have with
these schools. This event facilitated the development of
Ruyton students’ skills in communicating with children
with learning and language disorders, autism spectrum
disorder and children with difficulties with fine or gross
motor skills and visual perception.
Ms Maria Di Vitto,
Community Awareness
When I crunch the numbers, the facts that nearly 70 girls
signed up to participate in our Debating programme this
year and that I never felt inundated, or out of my depth,
is a testament to how rewarding it is to co-ordinate
students who like to argue and pick a fight.
Although I know each of our debaters is anxious before
the prospect of a verbal stoush with an opposing school,
each student chooses to take the challenge anyway just
to see where it takes them. And, even though we may lose
more than we win, the fact that the journey has been
shared with like-minded peers continues to make each
encounter worthwhile.
Being exposed to issues that many adults haven’t always
considered, organising research, anticipating the key
arguments of the opposition and standing up to deliver both
prepared and unprepared speeches, are all sophisticated
skills that do a great deal to enhance each girl’s academic
and social confidence.
This year, our Debating Captain, Phoebe Franich, did a
wonderful job supporting all the students who had signed
up and her efforts with the younger girls were particularly
noteworthy. In 2013, we continued to develop the leadership
opportunities available to debaters and Phoebe was ably
assisted by our Debating year level leaders. I acknowledge
Annual Report 2013
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