Volunteering earns a trip of a life­time

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

■ A group of stu­dents from Kar­ratha will soon have the op­por­tu­nity of sail­ing on WA’s own tall ship, the STS Leeuwin II, af­ter re­ceiv­ing schol­ar­ships pre­sented as part of the Leeuwin Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Pro­gram.

The pro­gram, funded through the North West Shelf Pro­ject Kar­ratha Ed­u­ca­tion Ini­tia­tive, aims to de­liver high-qual­ity ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment for teach­ers in the City of Kar­ratha.

To be el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive a schol­ar­ship, Year 10-12 stu­dents from St Luke’s Col­lege and Kar­ratha Se­nior High School must com­plete sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­nity volunteering hours with or­gan­i­sa­tions of their choos­ing.

Last week, 22 schol­ar­ships were of­fered to stu­dents who have col­lec­tively amassed more than 850 com­mu­nity ser­vice hours.

Schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ent Abi Pope said she found volunteering through the Leeuwin Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Pro­gram re­ward­ing.

“I did some work with the kids at Roe­bourne and I re­ally en­joyed it, I got to see some­thing I nor­mally wouldn’t and it was fun,” she said.

“Now I get to go on a trip of a life­time and I am look­ing for­ward to learn­ing new skills and meet­ing new peo­ple.”

Kar­ratha Se­nior High School Prin­ci­pal Jen­nifer McMa­hon said the Leeuwin ex­pe­ri­ence gave stu­dents an ex­cep­tional op­por­tu­nity to de­velop their lead­er­ship and team­work skills.

“Sail­ing on board the Leeuwin is an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to move out of their com­fort zone and chal­lenge them­selves,” she said.

“Ev­ery stu­dent who takes part is changed when they re­turn and they al­ways want to go back and thrive on the en­vi­ron­ment the Leeuwin pro­vides.”

St Luke’s Col­lege prin­ci­pal Alanna Ot­way said sail­ing on the Leeuwin was a worth­while ex­pe­ri­ence for any stu­dent in­ter­ested in chal­leng­ing them­selves.

“Stu­dents tend to rate the voy­age ex­tremely highly and of­ten cite it as a truly life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

“We are proud that al­most all of our stu­dents com­pleted in ex­cess of 60 hours com­mu­nity ser­vice as part of their com­mit­ment to this pro­gram and demon­stra­tion of col­lege val­ues.”

In the past five years, 96 stu­dents have com­pleted more than 2200 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice as part of the Leeuwin pro­gram.

Wood­side Kar­ratha gas plant as­set man­ager Steve Trench said the pro­gram aimed to en­cour­age high school stu­dents in Kar­ratha to be ac­tive mem­bers of their com­mu­nity by volunteering.

“This is the fifth year that the Kar­ratha Ed­u­ca­tion Ini­tia­tive has sup­ported these schol­ar­ships through the Leeuwin Ocean Ad­ven­ture Foun­da­tion, which en­cour­ages Kar­ratha stu­dents to make a val­ued con­tri­bu­tion to their com­mu­nity,” he said.

The pro­gram be­gan in 2008 and is de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with Kar­ratha Se­nior High School and St Luke’s Col­lege.

Pic­ture: Kar­ratha Ed­u­ca­tion Ini­tia­tive

Last week 22 Leeuwin schol­ar­ships were of­fered to stu­dents who have col­lec­tively amassed more than 850 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

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