Bringing positive change through education
Since she was in Year 4, Sobi Arulampalam, now Spiritual Life Prefect at Glen Waverley, has been blessed to share many experiences with Aboriginal students from the Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School. What those experiences have given her underscores the value of an equal partnership between two diverse cultures and communities, committed to bringing positive change through education. She developed a close friendship with Yiramalay student Lizaria Macale, with whom Sobi roomed during their eight-week Year 9 Clunes experience, an experience that was influential in her later becoming the Spiritual Life Prefect.
‘I’ve noticed growth, acceptance and understanding of cultural differences in my peers through the programs involving interaction with Yiramalay students,’ Sobi said. ‘I’ve gained a heart to pursue a ministry which supports community awareness, respect and reconciliation.’
Fellow student Dylan Sinclair, Social Justice Prefect, has been emboldened by a range of initiatives to explore an interest in becoming a teacher. As Social Justice Prefect, his exposure to the work of UnitingCare through the Christmas Giving Tree program has left an enduring mark.
‘It inspired me to do more community and service work,’ Dylan said. ‘These programs help to teach us students the importance of giving back and the joy that can be found in doing so.’
Although the year has turned out differently than expected, Glen Waverley students have been devoted to their cause, and one of their final on-campus initiatives was a Year 12 casual clothes day raising funds for Mission Australia. ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has left millions of Australians without jobs and financially struggling. Mission Australia helps to change this by supporting these vulnerable Australians through resources such as financial aid and psychological assistance,’ said Dylan.