To Serve is to Connect

Saturday, 07 May 2022

When the floods hit earlier in the year, they hit the local community of St Patrick’s hard. It was heartbreaking to hear that so many of our College families had been affected.

The efforts of the College community were truly astounding in the aftermath of the devastation. In the Year of Service, St Patrick's responded to a need. The St Pat’s Helping Hands Mud Army, led by Mr Troy Schultz our Dean of Teaching and Learning, were on the ground immediately ready to help with the clean-up. Our New Street Café provided hundreds of meals to ensure families were fed and our College Foundation offered financial support to those that needed it most.

The generosity of our College community is humbling. “Fiver for the Floods” was instigated and on Green and Gold day on Friday 18 March, our St Pat’s young men dug deep to give a ‘fiver’ for those that needed it. Our guests at this year’s Mother Son Afternoon gave back with a portion of their ticket going to our College Flood Appeal and we thank those guests that gave even more. Shore to Gate, where our boys run hard to provide for charities, chipped in too, contributing to the pot. We thank you all. And Mr Schultz’s efforts did not go unnoticed with his recognition in the 2022 Lilley flood Heroes Honour List.

We celebrated all these acts of service when we welcomed Juliette Wright, OAM to the St Pat’s Mother Son Afternoon on 4 May. Juliette is the “mother” of GIVIT, a social enterprise that matches charitable donations to need. She founded GIVIT in 2009 when she came up with the idea “around the kitchen table”. GIVIT has become a critical player in disaster recovery and an essential resource for charities and community organisations. Juliette received the Medal in the Order of Australia for service to the community through charitable initiatives in 2019 and her work has been recognised by all levels of government across Australia. 

It was with great pride, that we were able to present GIVIT with a cheque for $10,000 for the Flood Appeal. A Donation that Juliette promised would be used 100% to assist those in crisis. GIVIT’s programs have helped people living in drought-affected communities, indigenous communities and assisted in recovery from floods and fires across the country.

Our interviewer, and College mum, Ms Ainsley Pavey invited Year 12 Senior and College Vice-Captain Tristen Storey to join her and Juliette at the kitchen table. Tristen shared his experience of the recent floods, a story of service that he told with dignity, humour and compassion. Proof that at St Pat's we are building Men of Action who make a difference in people’s lives. And we thank our St Pat’s mums for the part they play in providing living examples to our students of what it is to serve – to be compassionate and to be present.