Students against poverty and homelessness

Posted on August 8, 2017

An education at St Paul’s is not just about exam results and OP scores. An education worth having is one that helps students become critical thinkers, empathetic, view multiple perspectives, and engage in compassionate acts. Global Sustainability is a Learning Realm at St Paul’s that helps students to develop these skills, attitudes and dispositions. Global Sustainability is not just about saving trees and looking after the environment, it’s about making connections with people, places and things and viewing the world as a series of interconnected systems.

Our Year 6 students are currently exploring the concept of Sustainability in IST and have separated this into three spheres – one of those being poverty and homelessness.

This morning, Rees Maddren from Anglicare Southern Queensland, shared with our students about poverty and youth homelessness in the Brisbane region. Mr Maddren oversees InSync Youth Services (Homelessness Support) in Brisbane’s South and has been involved for over 20 years.

Mr Maddren was engaging, energetic, insightful and very mindful of the fact that many of our students had not had much experience with people in Brisbane who might live in poverty or who were homeless. Mr Maddren managed to sensitively speak to the students but without shielding them from the facts.

Students listened very intently, collating their thoughts on paper and asking great questions such as, “Is it better to give money or resources when someone asks for help?”

The presentation tied together elements of the unit perfectly, as students heard firsthand about how these issues affect our local community. The Year 6s and their teachers are very mindful that this will not be just a “token” or “throw away” project. We are looking forward to hearing more about Year 6 and their initiatives.

Thank you Mr Maddren for providing some great insights about these issues and how we can promote change. We are very proud of the Year 6s and very grateful for Mr Maddren and Anglicare and the work that they do.

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