Chisholm hosted a ‘Vinnies Winter Sleepout’ on Friday 25 June. This happened to be on the coldest evening Perth had experienced in over five years! Despite that, 36 students and four staff braved the icy Year 7 quadrangle to sleep rough in solidarity with the estimated 900 homeless who were sleeping rough on the streets of Perth that night.
The event encouraged students to gain a deeper understanding of homelessness and the awareness of the realities faced by people experiencing homelessness and raise some items to directly support the Vinnies in their work to support the most needy members of our Perth community.
The Chisholm Social Justice Committee and Campus Ministry team led the evening which involved games, discussions, episodes of “Filthy, Rich and Homeless” as well as guest speakers Colin Krauseo (from the St Vincent de Paul Society WA – The Vinnies) and Damian Walsh (Director of Shopfront). We ate food commonly served to, or available to homeless people, including heated canned soup with bread for dinner and simple toast with a hot drink for breakfast. We gathered tightly around the bonfire before bedding down for a long evening which dropped to just 1°C at dawn.
Congratulations and thanks go to all successful participants and their parents for their support of the initiative. Our students’ compassion and resilience was outstanding. Two full car loads of donations will make an immediate positive impact for people sleeping rough and all participants will have been changed by the array of guest speakers; activities and reflections as well as the sleep itself.
Thanks to our wonderful staff involved namely Ms Ann Lopez-Paterson, Mrs Maria Wainwright, Mr John Rovedatti and Mr Andrew Panizza for supporting us well into the evening and again the following morning. Their involvement and support was so appreciated. Thanks also to Ms Jasmine Re and Ms Melissa Galea for joining us throughout the experience and bravely sleeping rough with our awesome students. Finally, thanks to our chief organiser of the event, Mr Lucas Phillips, for his commitment to both the participants’ safety and educational experience that came from such a worthwhile and formative event.
Mr John Swindells
Deputy Principal – Mission