Tuesday 06 May 2014

The city you thought you knew

The recent Urban Camp with the Brotherhood of St Laurence provided another opportunity for students and staff to explore and attempt to understand more about another side of Melbourne.

Over four challenge packed days 12 students from Year 10 set out to gain a better understanding of issues in regards to poverty in Melbourne and Australia, and along the way, start to make a difference to those in need whilst they listened to their stories.

They were impacted by all of the people they met, from the refugees from Burma, Afghanistan and other parts of the world who they practiced English with at NMIT, to those they met on the streets of Melbourne whilst out working with the St Vinnies Soup Vans.

They spent time with children of the High Rise Commission Flats of Brunswick at Breakfast Club and at school, then returning after school to join them at cubbies (a community playground set up to provide a safe environment for children after school and also on weekends) for fun and games.

Great times were also spent with the members of the Coolibah centre who enjoyed sharing their years of wisdom with the students as they interacted throughout the week over pool, table tennis, jigsaw puzzles or just sitting down for a chat.

A trip to the Brotherhood’s sorting Warehouse in Sunshine also provided an insight into how donated items are used as well as a chance for some manual labour in packing boxes. So many faces, lessons and new friends were packed into these four days that the students have returned with much enthusiasm and many more thoughts to consider about how they individually and collectively can make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than themselves in Melbourne and beyond.

Hopefully many more students will get the opportunity to experience this different side of Melbourne through Urban Camp in the future and in return gain a better appreciation of the wonderful opportunities that they have in their lives.