Students slept on the cold concrete in an effort to raise awareness for youth homelessness.

In Australia, there are over 100,000 people living homeless, with over 47,000 being young people between 12 & 25 years and 25,000 of these are between 12 and 17 years old.

Last Friday night, over 85 intrepid students from Years 6 -12 and 6 teachers braved the cold weather and sleeping on the concrete Primary Courtyard to participate in the Youth Off The Streets Winter Sleepout. In doing so, the students experienced, to a small degree, the harsh reality of homelessness.

Sleeping rough provides a very real connection to the reason why Youth Off The Streets is in desperate need of the funds that the students have raised. All funds raised will contribute to supporting the lives of the 47,000 young people who are facing the challenge of homelessness, neglect and abuse, drug and alcohol dependancy and exclusion from school. At the moment, the students have raised over $1000. If you would like to contribute to Youth Off The Streets, please send your donations in an envelope to School with your child. All assistance is greatly appreciated.

It was a great night, wonderfully organised by our student committee, led by two of our Service Captains - Mikaela Dane and Kiera Barron. Kiera and Mikaela were capably supported by Anica Sampson, Ria Shrestha, Elizabeth Impson, Erin Assur and William Stout. The student team organised a terrific night of information and fun, with the students participating in a variety of Minute to Win It activities, while learning more about the issues that homeless youth face each night.

"The night we spent together was very enjoyable and thought-provoking. We drank delicious soup prepared by the teachers, watched some insightful videos to gain an understanding of what it is like for homeless youth, and participated in a rotation of engaging minute-to-win-it activities with a scavenger hunt for clues to find facts about homelessness. The night ended on the floor of the Primary Courtyard, looking at the stars, shivering on our makeshift beds (cardboard, mats and sleeping bags). The night definitely gave us perspective of the hardships of living out on the streets and made us appreciate our beds on Saturday!" - Anica Sampson , Year 11

We are also very thankful to the teachers who supported the evening, either by braving the elements and sleeping out with the students, providing soup, fruit or slice for dinner or by helping with setting up and running the activities. My thanks to Mr Dawson, Miss Massey, Miss Little, Mr Millard, Mr Derrington, Mr and Mrs Clay, Mrs Chapman, Mr Van Heerden, Mrs Mulligan, Mrs Champion, Mrs Clarke, Mr Murthen, Miss Johnston and Mr Glazebrook.

The School would especially like to thank Woolworths Plumpton for their very kind donation towards the costs of running the event. Their help and generosity is much appreciated. Finally, thank you to all students for their support of this event, showing their commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who face the struggles of homelessness and disadvantage. Well done, everyone.

Stewart Rowe
Director of Service Learning