On Friday night, students and staff sacrificed comfort and a good night’s sleep to experience a little of what it would be like to be homeless. Led by the College Chaplain, Ms Veukiso, and Community Service Prefect, Madyson Wass, they were informed about the realities faced by members of the community with no place to call home. Through social justice games and guest speakers, the girls were given a glimpse into the hardships and complex issues faced by thousands of Australians every day. The girls were challenged to make choices between necessities and comfort. I was impressed with their insights and compassion to help each other.

Thank you to Ms Harriett Veukiso for organising and facilitating the sleepout and Ms Mary McAuliffe, Vinnies Youth Engagement and Development Officer for talking to the girls about Vinnies programs. Thank also to Ms Belinda Semola and Ms Claire Verepen for participating in and supervising the Sleepout. Thanks to Ms Sarah Philp and Ms Karen Hyne for helping me with supper and breakfast. The dedication and generosity of staff members allows our girls to participate in such important experiences.

Participating in the Vinnies Sleepout helped put our own challenges into perspective. While it was difficult to give up some of the comforts we are used to, it was extremely rewarding. We realised that many people in our community do not have their basic needs met, and often go unnoticed. I would absolutely recommend the Vinnies sleepout to others, as the personal growth you experience, and the insights you gain, prepares you to be able to act on the issue of homelessness and create positive change. Jamie Mohr, Year 11.

I learnt that I am very lucky for my security and comfort, and that not everyone has this. It was challenging to pick between sleeping comfortably and warmly, and eating. This would be a decision that many people without homes have to choose every night. I gained a new perspective on the issue of homelessness. I realised how privileged I am, and I will continue to volunteer and fundraise so that people facing homelessness can be safe and comfortable as well. I would recommend that others try this experience to put themselves in other people’s shoes for the night and learn more about this prominent issue, especially because youth make up a large portion of those who are homeless in Australia. Harper Weekers, Yr 12.

You can continue to support the Vinnies Winter Appeal by bringing in new socks to the Mission office in A13.

Together We Pray

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,

No hands but yours,

no feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion looks out on the world,

Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good,

And yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now.

– Teresa of Avila


Athena Costopoulos