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Finding our place in the world

During the last week of Term 1, students participated in a number of events across the College that encouraged thoughtful dialogue and reflection.

A key focus of the International Baccalaureate program involves helping students develop a sense of global mindedness. This involves building a connection and understanding of the world in which they live, how they fit into that world, and inspiring a willingness to take action on issues of international importance so they truly become ‘citizens of the world’.

At Glen Waverley Campus, Year 9 students ‘pedalled for hope’ on stationary bikes over three days, with the goal of cycling 1,478 kilometres to raise awareness for the distances refugees are forced to travel to seek security. They raised funds for Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), an independent not-for-profit organisation whose programs support and empower people seeking asylum to maximise their own physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Students also participated in a model United Nations conference, acting on behalf of a country they were delegated to represent. Working together, students formed alliances and sought supporters for their motions to promote and protect the interests of their 'countrymen’.  Year 9 student Gemma came away with a ‘new perspective, thinking about how other countries might be feeling, and what they may be experiencing.’

Meanwhile at our St Kilda Road Campus, the Kroger Front Turf was transformed into a carnival with games, live music performances by students, face painting and a sausage sizzle held as part of the SKR WiSSH (Wesley in support of Sacred Heart Mission) Carnival. All of the funds raised from this event were donated to Sacred Heart Mission, a local not-for-profit that assists people experiencing homelessness or disadvantage.

The St Kilda Road Campus has been working with the mission for a number of years and it was great to have representatives from Sacred Heart Mission at the carnival to speak with our students… they even taught a few how to juggle!

Wesley’s Service Learning Coordinator, Michael Nash commented: ‘The WiSSH Carnival challenged our Middle School students to conceptualise, plan and deliver a range of stalls and activities to engage the wider campus community, build awareness and raise money for the Sacred Heart Mission, which works to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne.  The event raised $12,875 and the excitement and awareness generated has inspired many of our students to continue working with Sacred Heart Mission on their other programs.’

Ethan, Year 9, helped to organise the carnival, a big but very satisfying undertaking. 'The biggest challenge for me was ensuring all the stalls were ready to go before the carnival,' Ethan said. 'With 22 stalls run by tutorial groups and another 20 stalls run by student groups, ensuring everybody had what they needed before the planned 'madness' of the carnival set-up was crucial.'

'The knowledge that I have done something to help makes me feel a sense of fulfilment. There's satisfaction in knowing that I have asissted people who need it,' Ethan, Year 9 said.

Service as action is a foundational element of the Middle Years Program (MYP). It seeks to develop caring members of the community who act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and their environment. By raising funds and awareness, students and their families are able to contribute to the world around them in a meaningful way.