23 April, 2021
Shellharbour students lend a hand in Gil
49 students from Shellharbour Anglican College made their way to Gilgandra last week, to contribute to the community in any way they can.
The college’s director of strategic communications and advancement Melissa Mann said one of the missions of the school’s approach to educating the students is educating the whole child.
“This means the school doesn’t just focus on the academic and co-curricular side of learning, but also looking at the whole child and producing students who are ready to enter the world and are aware of the world around them. A world that is different to their local community,” said Mrs Mann.
An ongoing partnership with Gilgan-dra has meant that students from the college have been visiting the shire to experience rural life and complete their community service hours for over 10 years now.
“Getting the students to Gilgandra, it’s a community that is quite different to our own, not only environmentally, it being very far from the ocean, but I suppose a lot of the students haven’t experienced an environment outside their She-llharbour bubble. They are quite unaware of how people around Australia live differently to them.”
The students could be found over the week repainting and touching up displays in the Gilgandra Museum, as well as holding school holiday activities in the park, and cleaning dishes at the showground.
“They have felt really fulfilled after the week’s activities, the general consensus is that they feel satisfied and grateful for seeing projects complete from start to finish. Students have loved building relationships with the young kids at the kids club as well,” said Ms Mann.
Most of the students are gold Duke of Edinburgh Award participants and are in their final stages of completing their award, created by the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away last week, aged 99.
Some students have been to Gilgandra on multiple occasions through the partnership and have stated that it is the highlight of their schooling year. They are already considering how to further their relationships with the locals next year.