Term 2 Issue No. 2, June 10

From the Principal

Choosing Mercedes College

By Andrew Balkwill

Each year, families choose Mercedes College to educate their children. Decisions about our children are rarely made lightly. From the day they are born, our focus as parents is on providing the best for them and making their path in life better than our own.

Each year, families choose Mercedes College to educate their children. Decisions about our children are rarely made lightly. From the day they are born, our focus as parents is on providing the best for them and making their path in life better than our own.

Learning from every new experience

Likewise, from the moment our children are born, they are learning. Like knowledge sponges they soak up all that they see and hear, learning from every new and each repeated experience. Enrolling your children in a new school is a big decision, with many considerations, including what’s important to you as a parent, and for your child as a young learner and tomorrow’s leader.

Recent media coverage comparing schools seeks perhaps to inform parent decisions, however it likely makes it harder, as comparisons are rarely like for like. While Mercedes College is always a student achievement leader, it’s arguable that comparisons about student funding and attained outcomes, oversimplifies the value of education.

Nurturing young learners

From Reception, we are nurturing young learners as we challenge them to be creative and critical thinkers through delivery of the Australian curriculum using the International Baccalaureate learning framework.

Developing confident and internationally minded thinkers

In Middle School our focus is on developing confident and internationally minded thinkers. It’s here that young entrepreneurs learn to push boundaries and think commercially. Individuals learn to think beyond themselves, beyond Adelaide and Australia, considering the wider perspective and thinking at both a macro and micro level.

Each student is challenged to be their best and push their own boundary academically, as well as personally through co-curricula experiences including camps, treks and retreats. By instilling confidence, strong values, and fostering a strong sense of belonging, our students continue develop holistically.

Supporting resilience and the importance of a personal best

Through Senior School students learn as much about themselves as the subjects they are formally taught. Each individual gains a broad perspective and is encouraged to compete with themselves to achieve their personal best. They are supported to develop resilience, appreciate the journey as much as the destination, and to be forward thinking.

For us, the delivery of individualised learning is about more than simple, one-dimensional metrics. Reflective of the individuals in our classrooms, the complexities of life ahead, we look to provide each student with the knowledge, skills, capability and capacity to positively engage with their future beyond our grounds.

Proud of our graduates

It’s this approach that sees us proud of the real measures of success at Mercedes College: the knowledgeable, caring and compassionate students who graduate each year. Coupled with that is our accountability as an IB world-school for delivering a robust and well resourced education for our students. Our internationally accredited status ensures we continue to revise and improve, rather than rest on past achievements or those of a few.

While resources like the My School website provide information to support accountability and consistent reporting measures, a conversation with our students, teachers and specialist support staff arguably provides greater insight.

Talk with us about your child

If at anytime you have questions about the learning experiences we offer, including how you may be able to further support this, please contact your class (Junior School) or home group (Middle and Senior School) teacher, or Head of School.


Annual Fundraising Appeal

This year, we’re inviting our community to support our important fundraising efforts by donating to our Annual Fundraising Appeal, and new Arts and Sports Precinct. As we finalise details ahead of awarding a contract for the new Arts and Sports Precinct building works, we are working through how we best deliver this important infrastructure and minimise inconveniences for our community.

Our investment in ever better learning spaces is not limited to our new precinct. With just a few modifications in the Dalton Building our new state-of-the-art 3D Printer and Laser Cutter for students to use will be installed, creating a Design Tech Hub. With an abundance of clever-tech opportunities ahead, our students will be able to push their thinking, imagination, creativity and learning forward. The minor works will be made possible by your generous donations, which enable essential and ongoing investment in our facilities and learning technologies.

You will receive information about how you can make a tax-deductible donation to our Annual Fundraising Appeal, via the Mercedes College Building Fund. As the custodians of Mercedes College, we each have a responsibility to ensure our continued leading educational excellence now and for future generations.

Andrew Balkwill
Principal

From the Director of Mission

The season of giving

By Therese Wilson

"Love is like Bread, it has to be made fresh every Day" - Michael Leunig.

Marian Procession 22 May 2022

The Archdiocese of Adelaide once again celebrated Mary in the month of May, for the Marian Procession, Celebrating the Ukrainian Icon, Vyshhorodska, Mother of God. Social Justice Leader Charlotte Sorell and School Captains Abigail Ranford and Amelie Finnimore were the commentators and readers for the whole congregation and read with distinction and poise. The ceremony was beautiful with poignant reflections from the Ukrainian Community.


Vinnies Winter Appeal

Our social Justice Leaders and our Junior school SRC have launched the Vinnies winter appeal for 2022. Our community has always been so kind and compassionate in our charitable giving. Clean clothes and blankets are the greatest gift you can give to St Vincent De Paul, to help out someone in our State who is struggling. We have six bins placed around the school – in Strathspey, the staff room entrance (at the rear of the Junior School Hall), Year 12 study centre and The McAuley Office entrance. Thank you in advance for supporting this cause.


Can Competition

Mercedes College is going head-to-head with St Mary’s College and other catholic schools in a challenge to collect the most donated cans for charities! Our Social Justice Leaders, Charlotte Sorell, Stella Tisato and Isabel Penne Negrette, have championed this competition and are promoting it to students through their homegroups. The homegroup winner for the College will get a free day in their PE uniform.

The charities benefiting from this competition are Vinnies and The Adelaide Day Centre for Homeless persons (Mercy Charity started by Sr Janet Mead).


Religious Education Curriculum: Three Worlds of the Text

A focus this year is reading the Bible to gain understanding of our world. The analysis methos, The Three Worlds of the Text is a way for students to gain a better understanding and greater meaning from the teachings in the Bible. The world behind the text involves investigating the history of First Century Palestine. The world of the text is a literary analysis of the words, themes, and symbols used and what they mean. Finally, the world in front of the text brings the meaning forth into the modern world; what it means for us today.

Blessings

Therese Wilson
Director of Mission
 

Junior School News

Developing and celebrating the whole child

By Kellie Osborn

Values-based learning

It's hard to believe that we're halfway through a term filled with exciting units of inquiry, guest speakers, year level Masses, NAPLAN assessments, local excursions, sports fixtures, debating successes, Craft Club and more! It seems an appropriate time to reflect upon the goal of education; what is the ultimate purpose of the diverse activities and learning experiences that are offered in our Junior School?

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) focuses on developing the whole child. Inquiries help our students build strong foundations in literacy and numeracy, whilst also advancing honesty, integrity, teamwork, empathy and resilience. The wide range of opportunities and experiences outside the classroom at College, such as choir, weekend sports or social justice initiatives, also fosters these attributes. We want each of our students to be the best versions of themselves; to be young people who are able to manage setbacks and challenges, and be emotionally and socially intelligent world citizens who can make a meaningful difference to their world.

In these final few weeks of Term 2, let's continue to encourage and inspire multiple intelligences in our children, motivating them to develop musical, mathematical, interpersonal, linguistic, intrapersonal, naturalistic, kinaesthetic, spatial and existential intelligences and, equally, the values of the Mercy Keys and learner profile attributes, which inform who they are now and will be as they grow, develop and learn.


Safe and Responsible use of technology

Use of technology in the Junior School is all about balance, moderation and the correct time and place. I believe that when use is measured, carefully considered, creative and constructive, amazing learning outcomes are possible.

Recently I was reviewing the work of cyber safety expert Susan McLean, who has visited the College previously. Susan has a great Facebook site, is a strong speaker and advocate for cyber safety, and is also a published author. Susan has great knowledge to share about cyber safety and supporting safe, responsible and intentional use of technology.

The following guidelines taken from Susan’s advice can help you guide children to make sensible decisions about technology use.

  • We encourage parents to make decisions with their wisdom and life experience when it comes to how and when their children should use and explore online worlds. 
  • Parents should ensure that:
    • They define a clear physical space for their child’s learning that is well lit and is a public/family space; not a bedroom.
    • They regularly check in with their son or daughter to provide support.
    • Their children do not have screens (iPads, mobile phone etc.) in bedrooms after lights out. 
    • Online social media sites such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are restricted to children 13 years and older. These sites won’t admit users whose date of birth identifies them as younger.
    • Children never engage in online exchanges with someone they don’t physically know. 
    • Children never share passwords with anyone except their parents. Parents need to monitor, support and guide online use as children do not always have the emotional and social maturity to enable good choices. The digital world is unforgiving of mistakes that can have significant and ongoing ramifications.
    • Children know that everything posted online leaves a ‘digital footprint’ and is accessible forever. 
    • All internet enabled devices are kept out of bedrooms. 
    • They set reasonable limits for online time that are age appropriate and of a defined period. If completing homework using a device, then use the class teachers’ homework guidelines and timing to determine appropriate limits.
    • If phones/ smart watches are needed for logistics of travel, use a phone that is not internet enabled and doesn’t have the capacity to take photos. 

I would also recommend Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. It gives provocative insight into the use of social media and highlights why our students should not be accessing this medium when their capacity for mature judgement is not fully formed. We also encourage access to the eSafety Commissioner website as there is a specific section for parents.

I know that at both school and home we want our students to be supported and encouraged to use technologies safely.


National Simultaneous Storytime

On Thursday 26 May we celebrated National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) in the Junior School.

NSS is an annual event that has been held since 2000 and is organised by the Australian Library and Information Association. Every year a picture book by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously across Australia in schools, libraries, childcare centres, homes and bookshops.

This year over two million students read Family Tree, written by Josh Pyke and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh. Videos of readings by VIP guest readers, including Australian Children’s Laureate Gabrielle Wang, Josh Pyke, and Governor-General David Hurley and Mrs Linda Hurley, were available, as well as an AUSLAN version.

We celebrated NSS in classrooms and together in the Library. Our students enjoyed finding interesting details in the illustrations and relating the story to their own families.


Personal responsibility

In recent weeks we have continued a conversation about the Mercy Key of Responsibility. This is a broad concept and encompasses a range of different traits: being trustworthy and dependable, keeping your word, trying your best, being accountable for your actions, and seeking to make a meaningful difference to your community. In the Junior School, our students demonstrate these traits on a regular basis as they share, promote and explore ideas, identify issues and seek solutions. In doing so, they show compassion, care, wisdom and understanding well beyond their years.

We often discuss the many and varied responsibilities that we have within the College, our local community and the wider world. It is wonderful to see, in line with the International Baccalaureate mission to foster a global outlook and community-mindedness, that this desire to make a meaningful difference and to take action is ingrained within our children - they are outward-looking, caring, principled and keen to have their voices heard to be active decision-makers. Our students demonstrate their responsibility on a daily basis, whether it be a lesson as a class to discuss the direction of their Unit of Inquiry or supporting a social justice initiative such as our current St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal.

The wonderful author, Charlie Mackesy encapsulates this sentiment perfectly: despite their small stature and young minds, our children are capable of making a huge difference in this world. We want to always listen to our students’ perspectives and support them to turn their ideas and suggestions into reality. This will allow them to be powerful agents of change determined to shape our world into a better place on a daily basis.

Kellie Osborn
Head of Junior School

Middle School News

Camps dominate the Middle School

By Ben Dray

Challenges and achievements making lasting memories

The recent Year 9 Camp to the Flinders Ranges provided students and staff with an opportunity to get back to nature and experience the outdoors. The focus of the camp was to increase resilience and step out of our confort zone. There is no doubt that the Year 9 camp is challenging, as the students do not have the creature comforts they are used to.

Year 9 Camp reflection
By Student Leaders Sam Glasson and Gina Barreto

In Week 4 the Year 9 cohort went to the Flinders Ranges. We arrived at school at 6:30am and hopped on a bus, then travelled for five hours passing through towns such as Port Pirie, Modbury and Port Wakefield. After the bus ride we arrived at Alligator Lodge where we split into our different groups and started our expedition. Over three days we travelled along rocky ridges and difficult terrain and, unlike the luxuries we usually get at home, we had to carry everything on our backs, supply and cook our own meals on a Trangia, and treck many kilometres across the Flinders. Our durability was truly tested. 

In total we walked nearly 43km over three and a half days. The camp was uniquely challenging for everyone, including our teachers. Whether no sleep, tenting problems or trying to cook food properly, we all encountered difficulties that took us out of our comfort zones and made us stronger, more resilient people. We were also grouped with people that we didn’t always hang out with, and were lucky to meet new people in an environment much different to that of school.

At the end of the camp, we were all very happy to be treated to a bakery lunch at the Crystal Brook Bakery on the way home.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated teaching staff for providing such an amazing life experience that we will never forget. 

After a few failed attempts, the Year 6 cohort finally got to attend their camp in Wirraway. Although the conditions were not necessarily favourable, the students loved the opportunity to engage with peers and teachers outside of the classroom.

Year 6 Camp reflection
By Students Benny Gray and Amelia Ciplys.    

For the first three days of the week the Year 6 cohort were lucky enough to go to Wirraway Homestead for camp. Despite the cold, wet weather, we all had a great time. Some of the highlights of the camp included the in-ground trampolines, archery, sheep herding, and night hike. The food was great and the Wirraway staff were lovely. We particularly enjoyed horse riding and getting to mix with people from different classes.

Overall, it was a very successful three day camp, and good preparation for our week-long Canberra trip later in the year. Our special thanks go to Mr Carosi for all of his work to make the camp happen, and to the Year 6 teachers, and Mr O’Connell, Mr Wray and Mrs Karlovic who were a fantastic help. 


Uniform 

In keeping with a long tradition of excellence and respect, all students attending Mercedes College are expected to proudly wear their school uniform. As Mercedes College has a well established reputation our students are readily identifiable in the wider community. 
 
As representatives, our students are expected to be well groomed and wearing the Mercedes College uniform: 

  • to and from school, 
  • during the school day, 
  • when participating in school sport, and 
  • at formal school functions. 

The College will be ensuring that all students are wearing their uniforms correctly, particularly their: 

  • blazers to and from school, 
  • shirts tucked in, 
  • ties correctly knotted, and 
  • PE uniform only worn when practical lessons are scheduled.  

 
The uniform requirements are available online, with items available from The College Shop and Second Hand Uniform Shop
 
Thank you for supporting your child/ren to wear their uniform with pride.

Benjamin Dray
Head of Middle School

Senior School News

Knowledge, planning and compassion

By Michael Francis

Seminars, careers, reconciliation, and the great outdoors.

 

 

In solidarity in reconciliation

As part of the way we acknowledged National Reconciliation Week (NRW), our entire Middle And Senior School community came together in a powerful assembly to recognise the importance of NRW in Australian society. Students from a range of year levels spoke about the need for our continued effort to bring the spirit of Catherine McAuley to the reconciliation process, and I share with you a message of Mercy from Mickey O’Brien (in 2020) who explained that we might interpret the word mercy in Kaurna language as:

Tangka mankurrinthi – to have compassion for, feel attached to, make friends with (someone)


Career development opportunities in the Senior School

Since our last Mercy Vine our Senior School cohort have spent time exploring possible career options for their futures.

Year 10 students engaged with BDO Australia, participating in a detailed careers aptitude questionnaire. Students and parents are able to access detailed feedback on personal skills and attributes that could guide future career path considerations.

Year 11 students have been securing work experience placements, which they'll enjoy in late June, and builds on the two or three day experiences they had in 2021.

Year 12 students embraced the opportunity to speak with some of our MOSA community by attending MOSA Career Mentoring, where MOSA members shared their study and workplace experiences across 20 career paths with our current students. (Pictured above talking nursing and midwifery, and below with our business presenters and talking journalism.)

All of these opportunities assist to inform future decisions of our students through our generous Mercedes College community – truly valuable!


Alcohol and Drug Education – Paul Dillon

It was with great anticipation that we welcomed Paul Dillon back to Mercedes College on 16 May to share his expertise and research on the impacts of drug and alcohol use among young people with all Senior School students. This continues our long relationship with Paul and once again students were engaged and receptive to his messages of safety, positive health, and respect for ourselves and our peers. Parents are encouraged to view fact sheets and information via Paul's website.

Read more about these sessions in Family Matters.


The great outdoors

Finally I leave you with some images from the Year 10 Camps, which included fishing, surfing and kayaking, and the Year 11 Outdoor Education Camp. Congratulations to all participants for thriving during these opportunities.

Michael Francis
Head of Senior School

From the Sports Desk

SAPSASA Successes in football and cross country

By Mercedes College

Celebrating a few of our recent SAPSASA stories from around the College

Boys SAPSASA Football

Year 6 students Josh Hicks and Charles Greaves featured in the winning City South team for Boys Division 2 SAPSASA Football. The team made an impressive 25 points to take the top spot, winning eight of nine games across the carnival. Congratulations Josh and Charles!


Girls SAPSASA Football

Also from Year 6, Ava Waters and Maggie Robinson were part of the winning City South team for Girls Division 2 SAPSASA Football. The team came equal first with Para Distrcts, with both teams earning 22 points after winning seven of their eight games. What great football talent we have at Mercedes College, congratulations girls!


SAPSASA Cross Country

It was a great effort at the Cross Country Championships in Oakbank by our whole team, who did Mercedes College proud. Top podium winners were our 15yrs Girls Team and Noah Chlanda in the individual 16yrs Boys 5km. Our 14yrs Boys Team and 15yrs Boys Team also got onto the podium in third position. Congratulations to everyone!

Secondary Cross Country training continues from 7:30am to 8:25am on Monday and Fridays through Terms 2 and 3. All students are welcome!

The Arts Corner

Hoods | End game

By Mercedes College

Senior Drama production a huge success

Thank you to everyone that supported our Senior Drama students in their recent production of Hoods by Angela Betzien. The three nights of performances by this talented ensemble were filled with creativity, compassion, and vulnerability.

As part of this project students formed a fictional drama company, Spark Productions, which gave them off stage roles in addition to being part of the cast. In teams they had creative input into the production, designed and sourced props and costumes, and created promotional materials for a full circle exploration into the art of putting on a live show.

Congratulations to the full cast, and the College team around them, for a successful run.

Family Matters

Our continuing partnership with Paul Dillon

By Anne Way

Giving guidance to our students and their families

“I’m not here to tell you what to do. My job is keeping you safe, and to make sure that you never say, ‘nobody told me’ if something bad happens to you or a friend at a party.”

This was a recurring message delivered by Mr Paul Dillon, nationally and internationally recognised drug and alcohol educator, when he spent Monday 16 May with our Senior School students.

Students were engaged, educated, and entertained as Paul skilfully, honestly, and explicitly outlined the facts and unpacked the myths associated with drug and alcohol use, the physiological and gender differences in tolerance, and the psychological and legal implications including Police procedures for roadside drug and alcohol testing.

Through sometimes graphic real-life scenarios, and reference to a strong body of contemporary evidence, Paul outlined the students' need to know information in relation to drug use to empower them to make informed decisions about their own behaviour and know how to help friends who may find themselves in risky situations.

Mitigating strategies suggested by Paul included having water time and a fistful of food ahead of social events, remembering that "you’re a mate, not a doctor” if friends get into trouble, and an overarching message of “don’t drink a lot, and don’t drink regularly - too much alcohol too early and you will lose some of your potential”, and these resonated with our young people.

Paul further encouraged students to download the Emergency+ app, which enables them to contact parents or emergency services with their accurate location in the event of a medical emergency where they are unsure of their exact street address.

This resource, along with Paul’s website, are invaluable resources for parents and caregivers. Paul is also happy to be contacted by e-mail at p.dillon@darta.net.au.

We will continue to explore these topics with students and very much look forward to Paul’s continued work with our community.

Anne Way
Director of Wellbeing
College Psychologist R-12

MP&FA

Funded, delivered and loved

By MP&FA Committee

Supporting our students

Through last year’s annual appeal the Mercedes Parents and Friends Association raised $20,000 for the refit of the outdoor Year 12 Café. Now complete and being used daily by students set to graduate this year, this outdoor space includes a new filtered and boiling water tap, coffee machine, and microwaves.

Enabling greater independence supports students as they transition from school into university or work, with senior students able to enjoy a more casual café style environment where they can spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere.

This space includes new outdoor furniture and paving that improves amenity and functionality – and not just for students. During this week’s run of the drama production Hoods, the Mercedes College Friends of the Arts Committee (FOTA) used this space to cater for the cast and crew, further demonstrating the value of investment into college facilities.

FOTA aims to increase awareness and appreciation of the arts at the College, but is also about helping in a practical way. Providing food and nourishment each night for the senior drama production was a wonderful way in which FOTA could show support.

This space, which our senior students want to spend time in, strengthens a greater sense of belonging and student pride. By being responsible for the use and care of this space our senior students also learn to be accountable.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to raising funds for this project in 2021, and to the facilities team for project managing delivery. Students for many years to come will directly benefit from this project, as will the wider community.

Thanks for your support in 2021, and we hope you’ll also support the 2022 Annual Appeal.

MOSA

Success stories, reunions and your chance to party

By Anne Morse

Celebrate our Old Scholars and join us for Christmas in July

South Australia's 40 Under 40 Awards

One of the proudest things we experience as a College is seeing our Old Scholars finding success, so today we are very proud to see three Old Scholars in the InDaily Top 40 Under 40 Awards.

Davie Fogarty (class of 2012) took out the Entrepreneurial Award in recognition of his company The Davie Group, producers of the winter favourite The Oodie.

Also listed in the Top 40 is Adam Gerard (class of 2001), who is CEO at Cabana Productions, and Lauren Whiting (class of 1999), founder of Lift Cancer Care Services.

Our International Baccalaureate R-12 program, which runs alongside the SACE curriculum in Senior School, truly instills a whole-of-person education not solely focused on academia. We believe that the skills and values learned at Mercedes College have a big influence in the successes achieved in all aspects of our Old Scholars' futures.

Congratulations to Davie, Adam and Lauren, and we hope that your success continues to grow!

See the full list of winners here.


Class of 1992 30 Year Reunion | Saturday 21 May 2022

On Saturday 21 May Old Scholars from the Class of 1992 celebrated their 20 year reunion at The Torrens Arms Hotel.

Attendees enjoyed catching up and sharing stories of their exploits since leaving Mercedes College. We were especially delighted to welcome a number of Old Scholars who travelled from interstate for the occasion.


Class of 1997 25 Year Reunion | Saturday 28 May 2022

On Saturday 28 May the Class of 1997 got together, also at The Torrens Arms Hotel to celebrate their 25 Year Reunion. While COVID contributed to smaller numbers being able to attend, those who attended had a blast! Lots of laughs were shared as they reminisced about old times. We were delighted to welcome Old Scholars from Melbourne and Cairns in addition to locals.


MOSA Christmas in July | 2 July 2022

MOSA's major fundraising event for 2022 is a very festive Christmas in July. Open to anyone in the Mercedes College community looking to support MOSA and their generous scholarship, the event will include a fabulous grazing Christmas feast, a bar, dancefloor and many chance to go home with a prize!

With the wintry weather hitting hard already, we've moved the event to the cosy indoors of the Junior School Hall and hope you'll join us on Saturday 2 July.

Book your tickets now (book by midnight tonight - Friday 10 June - and go in the draw for a $100 voucher for Bar Torino!)

Out of School Hours Care

Winter fun with OSHC

By Debbie Goss

Warming welcomes and the Winter Vacation Care Program

Warm winter vibe before school

The cold weather certainly seems to make everyone extra hungry! Knowing this, we decided to reimagine our winter menu to include delicious cooked breakfast options. We extend a warm invitation to all our OSHC friends to join us in our Café where our chefs/educators will be on duty to cook breakfast for you! All you need to do is place your request on our order form and relax with friends while your meal is being prepared. What a great way to start the day. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and will set you up for a productive and energetic morning. Come with empty tummies for us to fill and after breakfast we'll get into some games (Uno is a firm favourite followed closely by the Marble Run...)


Reconciliation Week

One of the highlights on our events calendar is National Reconciliation Week. This year we wanted to mark the occasion in a different way. Already we have children taking it in turns to read an Acknowledgement of Country as part of our daily routine, in fact many can recite the Acknowledgement by heart and they are very respectful and articulate when explaining what this means to the Indigenous community and to those of us who work and play on Kaurna land.

As we endeavour to further embed Indigenous culture into our OSHC program, we are encouraging children to write their own Acknowledgement of Country. They have highlighted words that they would like to incorporate and it's now time to sit down for a writing intensive.

Many of us are keen to add more Kaurna words to our vocabulary, especially greetings, and last week children made colourful friendship bands in the traditional colours and decorated a ‘Rainbow Snake’, which will soon find its own special spot in our room.


Winter Vacation Care Program

We have very much enjoyed planning our Winter Vacation Care program, which we develop in consultation with our families and children. It is now ready for you to download and explore, and we look forward to your company during the holidays.

Debbie Goss
Director OSHC

Student Report

Student Reflections

By Mercedes College

Students reflect on recent community service

Our Year 11 Environmental Community and Service group have been busy this term, undertaking a variety of experiences such as litter removal, clearing invasive weeds, and planting seedlings in settings including Brown Hill, Brown Hill Creek, Belair Nationsl Park, and Waite Conservation Park.

These are some quotes from students' reflection on the experience.


"This experience reinforced knowledge I had about the environment. Picking up rubbish made me more aware of just how much of it is everywhere, and how much it goes overlooked. Planting had a specific process to learn, and the concept of the seedlings growing over time into something a lot bigger was nice to think about.

The trip to Belair National Park specifically was eye-opening in terms of how much work actually has to be done to maintain these environments; we learnt from the volunteers there about animal control, weed control, and organisation. The fact that all this work was maintained by volunteers was also somewhat inspiring to hear."

Henry McPheat
Year 11


"Throughout this experience I was surprised to learn how much litter and rubbish there actually is. For example, when we visited Belair National Park there were dumping stores where rubbish would be illegal dumped. I learnt that the environment is something that should be treasured and protected by all people. Everyone should put time into healing it."

"I have also learnt that it is easy to work with members of the community. When I listen and respect what the members of the community have to say, I find that they are usually more experienced than me."

Zac Callaghan
Year 11


"I have learnt that everyone can do something for the environment through simple activities like recycling plastic at home. I also learnt that I have a large capacity to work under harsh conditions, like weeding in 35 degrees; I learnt that working for the community is more important."

Tom Potter
Year 11