St Catherine’s School

Food and language help connect St Catherine’s students to their community. As part of the school’s service program, year 9 and 10 students learn about themselves and the world by volunteering and living Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.

Year 9 students volunteer with FareShare, which provides free meals to the hungry and the homeless with donated food. So far they have produced more than 4000 meals.

“Adolescence can be a time of great introspection, but the year 9s are discovering that one of the best ways to learn more about ourselves and our place in the world is to look out into the wider community,” St Catherine’s student well-being director Merran O’Connor, says.

Since 2010, St Catherine’s year 10 students have volunteered at the Friday Night School at St Ignatius Church in Richmond, teaching English to students whose migrant or refugee families have recently arrived in Australia.

They also help Prahran Mission’s Winter Breakfast Program, where two students and a school staff member prepare and serve breakfast for the needy. Year 10 dean Vasiliki Spanos says students who take part come away with a deep sense of gratitude, empathy and care for their fellow man.