From The Chaplain - One Extraordinary Hour at GMHBA Stadium
It is always worthwhile when opportunities arise to equip our students to be more aware of how others live, and the difficulties that some people experience. It is also helpful to understand these difficulties, to appreciate what we have ourselves and to look at possible solutions to assist others in need.
On Wednesday, our 17 student leaders visited GMHBA Stadium to hear people from St Vincent De Paul Society and the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, (including the CEO of GMHBA Stadium Michael Brown) speak about homelessness in our Geelong region. It was a powerful message and had an impact on all who attended.
Here is what two of our Year 4 student leaders, Emily Goudge, and Eliza Breguet had to share about their experience and visit to Kardinia Park for the ‘One Extraordinary Hour at GMHBA Stadium’ event.
Emily Goudge – 4G (picture) ‘When we first arrived at GMHBA stadium, our school, along with four other Geelong schools, were directed to the balcony where there was cardboard laid out on the concrete. We sat on the cardboard and were told this is what homeless people sleep on every night. Our speaker from St Vincent De Paul was Felicity Walker. As we sat there we could feel the cold air blowing on our bodies. We were freezing, but we were only there for an hour but homeless people live with that every night. Even if they have a roof over their head they don’t have warmth and love like we do. Being safe is a problem too. We learnt that we are very fortunate in what we have and that we can help make a difference by giving useful goods and time to organisations like St. Vinnies. These include; socks, jackets, jumpers, scarves, blankets and toiletries.’
Eliza Breguet - 4G (picture) ‘Felicity Walker told us that there are 3,000,000 people in Australia that live below the poverty line. We learnt that in Geelong, alone, there are 580 homeless children in Geelong under the age of 12! We learnt that St Vincent De Paul will soon be holding a Community Sleepout involving 60-80 Community leaders who will spend the night at GMHBA Stadium with only a piece of cardboard and a sleeping bag! Each community leader has to raise $5000 each, which could raise as much $400,000 for Geelong’s homeless. Geelong should be proud of St Vinnies because the sleepout is the first regional city in Australia to run such an event. We here at school are very proud of what St. Vinnies and other organisations are achieving and we’re looking forward to the Community Sleepout. Yesterday Mariana, one of our student leaders, had her photo taken by the Geelong Advertiser and contributed to the article about Geelong’s homeless situation.
Rowan Thurman (Chaplain), Emily Goudge (Year 4G) and Eliza Breguet (Year 4G)