Volunteering earns a trip of a lifetime
■ 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.
Last week 22 Leeuwin scholarships were offered to students who have collectively amassed more than 850 hours of community service.