Winter Sleep out
On Friday 16 June, approximately 150 students, staff and guests attended the annual Vinnies Winter Sleepout. During the week leading up to the Sleepout, our Mini Vinnies and Year 12 Parliament were instrumental in leading and organising several well-being activities and fundraisers. These included writing affirmation cards during Pastoral, a Trash and Treasure Stall and also included fun and games in the Hall during Breaks.
The Sleepout began at 5.30 pm with ice-breakers and music in the CA, before everyone headed into the Theatre to listen to the guests speakers.
Dennis Brady, Regional President from St Vincent de Paul, opened the event and provided context around what Vinnies does in our local community. He also talked about some of the ways in which we can assist and support. Mr David Harris congratulated all of the students for their dedication and commitment to the cause and encouraged students to be ‘leaders of change’ and activists for social injustices. There were also presenters from local organisations; Toukley Neighbourhood Centre and Coast Shelter, as well as NSW Police Family and Domestic Violence, who provided further insight into the harsh realities that many in our community face. Kristy Drower spoke passionately about her recovery and journey as a victim of DV, and Andrew English was our final presenter, sharing his personal testimony about his experiences with homelessness, along with drug and alcohol addiction.
After the formal presentations, everyone headed into the Hall for a supper of yummy soups cooked by the amazing MCC Staff and then a few rounds of trivia.
At 9.30 pm the juniors departed the college as the second session began. This session was for senior students only, Years 10 -12. Once all of the presentations and activities were complete, students received a cardboard box. These could be used to sleep on, though some students preferred to work together, combining all their boxes to create a mega-shelter. It was a VERY cold Friday night with temperatures plummeting to just 3 degrees. Although the students were well prepared with many layers of clothing; beanies, gloves, warm jackets as well as a sleeping bag, it was still an uncomfortable night spent out in the elements. This experience certainly demonstrates how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads and a warm bed to sleep in at night.
We hope that our Winter Sleepout Event has provided a valuable experience for our students; to raise awareness about social injustices and to foster a culture of compassion and empathy.