Building Community

Images: Big Buy Back; Big Sleep Out

​The Woodleigh Beanie Festival this Saturday promises to be a great event and we are looking forward to seeing you all there. Now in its fourth year, the Beanie Festival is based on the Alice Springs event and is designed to bring together students, parents, staff and friends from all three campuses of Woodleigh School, together with local Indigenous groups, collaborating to promote reconciliation and the arts whilst raising funds to support Woodleigh School’s Indigenous Community Partnerships.

One aspect of the festival that we are really excited about is our strengthening relationship with the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place in Hastings. Peter Aldenhoven, the Executive Officer of Willum Warrain, will be opening the festival on Saturday, and we would encourage you to visit the Willum Warrain marquee near the entrance. Former student Jake Finnis will also be returning to the school in his role as Event Ambassador, maintaining his connection to our community.

The Beanie Festival is just one of a range of programs and events currently taking place with the aim of developing community connections whilst also raising money or awareness of social disadvantage. On Tuesday this week, Year 8 students were involved in the Community Partnerships program, involved in a range of activities including environmental restoration in the Edithvale Wetlands and our Brian Henderson Reserve, volunteering at the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre in Dandenong, working with students from the Mornington Special Development School, Spring Park Primary School as well as both of Woodleigh's primary campuses, Minimbah and Penbank. Many of our Year 8s are basing their ‘Courage Creates Change’ projects on these experiences, while others are raising awareness around a range of other issues in partnership with other community organisations.

Images: Beanie Festival 2018

Our senior students are also leading the charge for community engagement, with Maks Nosiara (Year 12) and Francesca Puleio (Year 11) driving a ‘War on Waste’ through the ‘Big Buy Back’ event which took place on Monday. Whilst last night, the Big Sleep Out organised by Dylan Bolch (Year 12) and Raia Flinos (Year 10) helped raise awareness for homelessness. The students have also been wonderfully supported by teams of teachers under the leadership of Gareth Bolch and Gina Bolch.

Further opportunities to build community come hot on the heels of Saturday’s Beanie Festival, with the Comedy Night on Saturday 10 August, our Parent Social Evening at Rare Hare on August 15 and our ‘Legally Blonde’ production in late August. We would love to see you there too!

David Burton
Deputy Principal – Head of Senior Campus