Friday 12 November was St Michael’s last Community Action Day for 2021. It was an action-packed day, where we celebrated World Kindness Day, International Men’s Day, participated in games and raffles, and most importantly, raised money for our chosen charities Movember and The Danny Frawley Centre for Health & Wellbeing (DFC). A wonderful team of students and staff members from our Community Action Group worked together to ensure the day ran smoothly.
Despite the wind and rain, the drizzly weather didn’t dampen the spirits of our School community as they rolled up their sleeves for a good cause. In the Senior School, various games such as ‘Guess It’, ‘Slide It’, and ‘Lob A Choc’ were relocated inside Dolly’s café, with participants using their gold coin donations to try and land a prize. In the Junior School, students participated in an indoor carnival, with various games and activities occurring on the second floor of the Allan Pizzey Building.
The attention on mental health was a major focus for the proceedings of the day, off the back of a challenging year filled with uncertainty, lockdowns, and Online Learning. Students identified the DFC as providing useful mental health and wellness programs to the community. The DFC will build upon and extend St Kilda’s existing RSEA Park Stage 2 development plans by ultimately incorporating a 25m lap pool, hydrotherapy pool and rehabilitation gym, as well as a multi-purpose movement space capable of delivering wellbeing programs to schools and community groups.
Dedicated mental health facilities will include consulting suites for service providers, shared work areas for program development and research, a community education room for prevention and training programs as well as casual meeting spaces for facility users.
It’s really great to have such a good cause on board for our Community Action Day. It’s something really important, and mental health isn’t always widely talked about.Will, 8B
For gold coin donations, students wore casual clothes and enjoyed a sausage sizzle outside The Gipson Commons. Students volunteered to take on duties such as cooking the barbecue and operating the cash register, collecting money for the various charities.
Speaking about the association with International Men’s Day and the charity Movember, Head of Kilburn House (10-12) and Community Action Leader, Miss Chloe Hancock, said there has been a major shift of attention onto mental health, specifically men’s mental health, and how we can approach talking about the subject.
Statistically, men are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health illness but are also less likely to seek help. It’s important that our community is armed with awareness and knowledge about the avenues we can go down to either seek help, or ask someone if they’re doing OK, both inside and outside of School.Miss Chloe Hancock, Head of Kilburn House (10-12)
Students in both the Junior and Senior School were also encouraged to leave messages of support for each other on the ‘Kindness Clothesline’ in celebration of World Kindness Day. Whether it was simply a kind message, a positive inspirational quote or a thoughtful note to lift spirits, students hung up their messages in a step towards making kindness the norm.
Thank you to our all our students and staff for making our last Community Action Day for 2021 so memorable.
Messages like these help spread awareness about mental health, while also helping people in the School community to realise that you aren’t alone and there’s always someone you can talk to. Abby Fletcher, 10HA