Donations, Events, Fundraising, Newsletter, Program News

Term 2 2020

Throughout Term 2 2020, we remained focused in the face of uncertainty and continued to work hard to keep the wheels turning and prepare for the return of the children who need us the most.

In brief:

  • Your ongoing support is helping drive our efforts to welcome the return of children to our Program. Our CEO provides more on how the Program is being modified for the remainder of 2020
  • In a recent radio interview, our CEO recounts the events that lead to the establishment of our children’s charity in 1931
  • We recognise the fundraising efforts of public schools in NSW by reimagining our on-site annual Awards Presentation Ceremony into an online feature
  • A career change only strengthened a former teachers resolve to continue supporting Stewart House
  • Restrictions on social gatherings have adversely impacted many of our annual fundraising events

Thank you for committing to this journey with us. The outlook looks brighter when faced together!

A Message From Our CEO

Program modifications for the remainder of 2020
We continue to look forward to the day we are able to re-open the Stewart House residential program to students. Our highest priority in planning for this is the health and safety of students nominated to attend, their families and their local communities.

Program delivery in a COVIDSAFE environment

In Term 2, we reviewed our capacity to provide a COVIDSAFE environment for both children and our staff at Stewart House and inside our program of Sydney-based excursions. The review highlighted that we are limited in our capacity to quarantine any cases which may arise and to provide residential facilities at a standard consistent with the advice received from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) for some 80 children. There are also challenges in identifying specific close contacts within a residential setting like ours. We have assessed that, in order to deliver an engaging COVID-19-informed and needs-based program, we will need to reduce cohort size so as to provide individual personal hygiene facilities, use our own staff and buses to transport children to and from Stewart House and shorten the stay.

In accordance with previous determinations made by the Stewart House Board of Directors across the COVID-19 crisis and with advice received from Governments and appropriate Government Departments, Stewart House will look to operating a one-week (4 night) program for students from metropolitan schools to commence in Term 4.  This will coincide with the anticipated lifting of restrictions placed on public schools by the NSW Department of Education in relation to excursions and school camps.

Opening up to regional schools

It remains foremost in our thoughts that children in many regional schools have been deeply affected by years of ongoing drought, the devastation of the summer bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic. We are using our ‘down-time’ to modify programs to cater for the social and emotional wellbeing of the children most affected by these adverse experiences and look forward to welcoming them back in 2021.

Getting back to “normal”

In 2021, when the world returns to a new normal, our placement calendar will be revised to provide an opportunity for those who have missed out this year – with priority given to those from regional areas.

We all share in the disappointment of both teachers and students alike in not being able to participate in the Stewart House Program this year, and undertake to have regard for this in future invitations.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Graeme Philpotts
Chief Executive Officer
Executive DirectorStewart House

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NSW Department of Education staff are invited to get in touch for more detailed information around the Program intake, including the criteria and suitability for enrolling children in these times, transport arrangements, and additional permission requirements.

 

In the Media: Radio 2GB

Our CEO explains the early history of Stewart House in an interview with Rev. Jay Bacik

As NSW public education’s Charity of Choice, Stewart House is known to many through clothing drives, cake and toffee days, even personal visits. However, as we approach 90 years of serving public school children-in-need across NSW, and the ACT, a historical reminder of its inception provides a lesson in the true value of community.

It was the teachers in NSW public schools who were instrumental in petitioning the government for the establishment of a facility to address the declining health of school children during the height of the Great Depression – at a time when the public health system was in its infancy.

Land at Carrington Parade opposite South Curl Curl beach was provided by the Crown, and businessman, politician and philanthropist of the time, Sir Frederick Stewart, donated funds for the building.

Driven by the community spirit and for the greater good of children experiencing hardship, Stewart House was opened by the then Governor of NSW, Sir Philip Game, in 1931. Hear the interview in full here and read more about our rich history on our website.

 

A Virtual Ceremony of Appreciation

We moved our Annual Presentation Ceremony online to accommodate social distancing requirements

Each year, we come together on site to celebrate the fundraising support from schools, individuals and organisations.

This year, we invited our valued supporters and 2019 fundraising award recipients to share with us what Stewart House means to them. In return, we created a feature of each entry via our website and Facebook.

We are sincerely thankful for the efforts and invite you to view the fabulous entries, here. We hope you enjoy viewing them as much as we did!

 

Unwavering Support

This teacher’s career change did not change her long-term commitment to helping children in need

We are thankful for the unprecedented support from teachers, who assist in funding the unique Stewart House Program through voluntary salary contributions.

Former Glenbrook Public School kindy teacher, Lisa Howell, moved on from a teaching career spanning 28 years to explore her passion for interior styling and selling homes. The move did not, however, diminish her dedication to continue supporting Stewart House, one of her chosen children’s charities.

We are sincerely thankful to Lisa and are delighted to share her remarkable story, here.

A note about Workplace Giving

Workplace giving is a simple and mutually beneficial way to support Stewart House. When you elect to make a donation to Stewart House through your employer’s payroll system, if it can be done pre-tax, you reduce the overall tax you would pay annually.

The attractive workplace giving options available are as follows:
  1. Stewart House Salary Contribution Scheme is available to NSW Department of Education (DoE) employees
  2. Non DoE employees can choose from other Workplace Giving arrangements

To speak with someone in out team directly about the best option for you, simply click here.

Fundraising

Many of our major fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed following the social distancing measures imposed by COVID-19. Your support remains fundamental to our bounce-back.

Our Stewart house-branded merchandise is available year-round for community groups, clubs, sporting and other organisations, looking for ways to fundraise and support Stewart House. For assistance, please contact us or view options and place an order directly via our website, here.

Stay Social

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Stewart House

We invite you to join us on social platforms: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, to follow the latest updates on Stewart House. We enjoy connecting online and hope to see you there!

“I highly recommend sending your children if they get a chance. I was lucky enough to have been selected twice. Once in year 6 and once in year 8.” Lisa (Facebook-April 2020)

 

Fundraising, Newsletter, Program News

Term 1 2020

We share early highlights from Term 1 that brings hope and reinforces the power and importance of community

  • Your ongoing support is helping us to prepare for the return of the most vulnerable children in our community. Our CEO highlights the current measures taken and the plan for the days ahead.
  • Young leaders under the auspices of Rotary volunteer their time as part of a leadership program.
  • The recent Anniversary for the National Apology to the Stolen Generation provided a platform for learning among our students.
  • Haircuts for children (a feel-good service).
  • The Smith Family ceases its Recycling Operation, thus ending our 70-year-long partnership of clothing drives.
  • We remain committed to fundraising to ensure the longevity of our long-standing children’s charity.

A Message From Our CEO

Stewart House Operations and Fundraising update during COVID-19
Stewart House closed to student enrolments on Monday 16 March 2020 and commenced site shutdown from 30 March 2020. The directive was 
made following Government advice and realising that major components of our Program could not operate in a COVID-19 environment.

Stewart House employees worked hard to clean and disinfect the entire site and our school staff were re-deployed to other surrounding schools.

In accordance with the most up-to-date directives, from both the Federal and State Governments, I have advised Stewart House employees to stay at home. Some have been given online learning packages to complete, whilst our office staff are working from home.

It is my intention to continue to pay all Stewart House employees across this crisis. We will also have to keep up our payments for all our running 
costs including those for utilities, leases and insurances.

The first two groups of next term have been cancelled and I will make further decisions over the Easter break on what to do with groups scheduled to arrive in June. This advice will be updated when we receive further Government directions.

Whilst schools remain open, our Placement Officer, Vicki Allen will continue to liaise with Principals. We will continue to receive nominations and 
enrolment information according to the published timelines either so that we can transition effectively upon re-opening, or to store and actioned in 2021.

It remains vital that our key stakeholders continue their monetary support so that we can 'hit the ground running'. To this end, we have 
communicated with schools regarding the postponement of our annual Donation Drive – our major school fundraising initiative – now re-aligned to take place in Term 4 2020.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we trust you continue to stay safe and well. Should you require further information, please contact us.

Thank you for your ongoing support.


Graeme Philpotts
Chief Executive Officer
Executive Director
Stewart House

Highlights from Term 1

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) team volunteers assist in grounds maintenance

During the January school holidays, the RYLA team incorporated an afternoon of volunteering as part of a young leadership program.

Some 30 participants were mobilised around our Curl Curl site to spruce up the grounds in preparation for the new year. It was a successful afternoon of helping, learning and sharing with the experience leading to a number of participants expressing a desire to volunteer at Stewart House into the future.

We sincerely thank Deen Rad, Facilitator Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, District 9685; Jo Glazebrook, former Stewart House Assistant Principal, whose close affiliation with RYLA spurred visits two-years running; and of course the hard-working team of volunteers for their efforts on the day.

Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations

We used this opportunity to discuss the significance of the Government’s apology to the Stolen Generation

On 13 February 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a formal apology in Parliament on behalf of the government and people of Australia to the Stolen Generation.

Acknowledging the cultures of our First Nations People is an important part of the Stewart House Program, and each year, we pause to commemorate the anniversary by inviting discussions about the significance of this event.

For the last three years, our statistical analysis of enrolments reveals that 30% of students identified as from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

By asking questions such as: What does Sorry Day mean to you?, Do you think it is important to have a respectful relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians? and Is there anything you would like to see in the future to pay tribute to this significant day? we are proudly fostering an empathetic and compassionate environment for our students.

A Feel-Good Haircut

Stewart House School now incorporates haircuts into the Program

We have always provided visiting children with medical, dental and optometric assessment and treatment during their 12-day stay. Now, our students can also enjoy an appointment at our purpose-built hairdressing salon.

Our qualified hairdresser and Student Learning Support Officer (SLSO) Melissa, provides a range of washing, cutting and styling services in-house.

This initiative has been made possible through the determined drive of our school staff, in consultation with local business and supporter Hair by Cassidys, using the building services of local master builder Chris Flemming.

A good haircut definitely makes you smile.

End of an Era

The Smith Family ceases its Recycling Operation putting an end to clothing drives in schools

Stewart House has worked in partnership with The Smith Family since 1950 on co-branded clothing drives in NSW schools.

Quality donations from clothing drives were used either in The Smith Family stores or were exported. Stewart House also benefitted financially, receiving revenue for each kilogram of clothing collected. In earlier times, The Smith Family Rag Collection allowed Stewart House to keep its doors open! They have always provided a much-needed boost in funds and allowed Stewart House to keep overheads low.

We sincerely thank The Smith Family, and the wider school community, for supporting Stewart House and the vital role we play in the lives of children-in-need from public schools.

Fundraising

Our annual Term 1 Donation Drive has been deferred to Term 4 2020. Our merchandise is available year-round

Donation Drive 2020 envelopes were rolled out to public schools earlier in the term, however, in light of the current circumstances we recently provided an update that the draw will be postponed until Term 4.

Our high-quality Stewart House-branded merchandise is available for purchase throughout the year.

If your workplace, sporting club, community group, or organisation is looking for ways to fundraise and would like to support Stewart House, please contact us to discuss further.

Orders for merchandise can be placed directly via our website here.

Stay Social

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Stewart House.

We invite you to join us on Facebook, where we provide updates on some of the great work that is carried out by the community in support of Stewart House. We are highly appreciative of their efforts and enjoy connecting online. hope to see you there!

Facebook Review
“My daughter … had an amazing time, met lots of lovely people, had new experiences, loved the outings and came home very happy and excited to share. Thank you for giving my daughter a great opportunity and taking care of her wellbeing…”Rachael (Feb 2020)
Donations, Events, Fundraising, Newsletter, Program News, School News

Term 3 2019

We are pleased to provide a summary of highlights from Term 3 2019.

  • Our staff have been recognised for their exceptional contribution to public education.
  • Students continue to enjoy a variety of experiences as part of the Stewart House Integrated Curriculum.
  • Our focus and commitment to fundraising continue to strengthen through the following initiatives:
    1. We have expanded our Stewart House branded-range of merchandise with the addition of two new items.
    2. We are supporting the sale of tickets, as one of the nominated beneficiaries, in the ASX Refinitiv Charity Foundation’s 2020 Art Union Raffle.

We hope you enjoy our wrap-up!

 

Education Awards

Our staff go above and beyond to create a welcoming, caring and empathetic environment for our students.

Ms Cathy Brennan presents awards to our SASS staff and to our Assistant Principal

Our dedicated School Administrative and Support Staff (SASS) were recognised by the Executive Director of School Performance, Ms Cathy Brennan, for their exceptional contribution to public education.

The prestigious Executive Director’s Recognition Award recognises individuals who demonstrate the core values of the NSW Department of Education in three categories: Service, Excellence and Trust. They now join a limited number of people formerly recognised by the Department in this role.

Our Assistant Principal, Sharon Smithies, received recognition in the Department of Education’s core values of ‘Trust’ and ‘Service’.

The acknowledgement highlights Sharon’s extraordinary ability to connect with and change the lives of children, in a career spanning 35 years. Remarkably, Sharon is one of only two other recipients of this award in the Beaches Network.

Student Art Exhibition

Stewart House School proudly participated in a collaborative art exhibition, showcasing artwork by students who attend Schools for Specific Purpose and support classes on the Northern Beaches.

A display of artwork created by various Stewart House students in 2019

The event, held at the Creative Space in North Curl Curl, was themed “Out of the Earth”. In keeping with the theme, a colourful collection – completed by various Stewart House students throughout 2019 – went on display.

“The Earth – We are all connected” – A magnificent raffia, hemp and wool tapestry made up of individual weaves joined to reflect how we are all different but can come together as one.

“Canvas Totems” –  Paintings of six different sea animals pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land. Each design, since transferred onto carpet mats to decorate the school, is assigned to the six classes at Stewart House School.  Furthermore, and integral to the design are the six circles found within each of the sea animals, symbolic of the six different Aboriginal language groups spanning from the Northern Beaches to Wollombi.

“Poppies” – Individual clay Poppy flowers to commemorate ANZAC Day were created by students throughout Term 1 2019. Many were planted at the local RSL Club, Harbord Diggers, as part of the ceremony to commemorate fallen soldiers.

We were pleased to exhibit alongside Arranounbai School, Fisher Road School, Northern Beaches Secondary College – Cromer Campus, and The Beach School.

 

New Stewart House Fundraising Merchandise

The latest high-quality fundraising merchandise is now available to schools, clubs and organisations.

Our range of merchandise includes Fun Dough, Slapbands & Bounce Balls

We recently added two fun new items to our range of Stewart House branded merchandise. Joining our ever-popular yellow High Bounce Balls are pots of fluoro dough and slapbands.

If your workplace, sporting club, community group, or organisation is looking for ways to fundraise and would like to support Stewart House, then please consider purchasing some Stewart House merchandise.

A brief summary of the details for each item follows and a PDF copy is available for download here.

  • Fluoro Fun Dough – Australian-made & non-toxic. 80g pots of fluoro dough in yellow, pink, green & orange. Cost: $50 per box. Each box has 12 pots.
  • Slapband – Custom-printed in Stewart House signature-blue with gold stars. Cost: $50 per sleeve. Each sleeve has 12 slapbands.
  • High-Bounce Ball – Custom-printed with Stewart House logo. Cost: $36 per box. Each box has 24 balls.

Orders can be placed directly via our website here. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss further.

Co-curricular Activities

Thanks to the dedication of our staff and the support of some valued community groups and organisations, Stewart House students participated in a range of co-curricular activities throughout the term.

Students enjoying a variety of co-curricular activities in Term 3 2019

In August, Ladies of Variety (LOV) treated students to a fun pampering session with removable tattoos, face painting and mini manicures. LOV also accompanied students on an expert-guided tour of the Australian National Maritime Museum, in Pyrmont.

Stewart House students were also invited to tour Victoria Barracks in Paddington and visit the NSW Mounted Police Unit in Redfern.

At the Barracks, students moved through one of the most highly-regarded examples of military architecture in Australia and gained unique insights into Australian Army operations. At the Mounted Police Unit, students directed questions to officers currently in the unit and were introduced to the stars of the Unit – the horses!

We are thankful for these opportunities and for the extra-special memories they provide the children.

Our Integrated Curriculum

We incorporate activities and experiences along with health services to build children’s wellbeing.

Students are provided with on-site Optometric screening

Stewart House has been in operation since 1931 with the primary purpose of caring for children in need from all parts of NSW and the ACT. Children are nominated by their home-school Principal to attend the 12-day Stewart House Program, designed to boost self-esteem and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Our Program is delivered through a blend of health screening and education, and out of school activities. It runs year-round, in parallel with NSW Public School terms.

We are committed to creating quality learning opportunities for children and young people. This includes opportunities to strengthen their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Our understanding of wellbeing is contemporary, forward-focused and trauma-informed.

For more information on our Health and Wellbeing Program, please visit our website.

ASX Refinitiv Foundation Art Union Fundraiser

Support Stewart House and be in the draw to win some fabulous prizes.

We are fortunate to be a partner of the ASX Refinitiv Charity Foundation in 2019/2020 and, in particular, a beneficiary of the 2020 Art Union Raffle.

The total value of prizes on offer is $50,526, spread across the following:

  • 1st Prize –  Lexus CT200H Luxury
  • 2nd Prize – 3 night Murray River Cruise on PS Murray Princess
  • 3rd Prize – Raymond Weil Parsifal Men’s Quartz Classic Blue Dial Bracelet Watch

A limited number of tickets are available for sale in this prestigious raffle, to be drawn on Thursday 12th March 2020, so please get in quick and help give disadvantaged children the break they deserve.

For further information on prizes and ticket prices, please visit our website.

Stay Social

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Stewart House.

We invite you to join us on Facebook, where we provide updates on some of the great work that is carried out by the community in support of Stewart House. We are highly appreciative of their efforts and enjoy connecting online.

 

Program News

Revamped Stewart House activity book 2019

A new Stewart House activity book has been created for the 2019 students of Stewart House. Co-ordinated by the team at Stewart House including the Wellbeing Managers Simon Hook and Tom Osborn and Zoe Booth the Content and Communications Advisor, the activity book provides learning opportunities for children to strengthen their knowledge on physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above pictured are girls from Group 1, 2019 from Hawkesbury, Mount Druitt and Minchinbury.

The Stewart House activity book at a glimpse:

Concepts include:  building strengths, exploring thoughts and feelings, strengthening relationships, self-care and Aboriginal culture.

Activities include: gratitude journaling, mindfulness, understanding anger, relaxation techniques and activities just for fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stewart House activity book has been created in 2015 and has been evolving each year. All children receive an activity book to remember their stay.

Thank you to our supporter Advancedlife for the fantastic printing job each year.