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Jess’s Story

Stewart House student and recently, a volunteer.

People who have spent time at Stewart House often reflect on what it meant to them and sometimes they let us in on their insights.

Jess shares her story…

Í grew up in Broken Hill, living with my dad and brother from a very young age. I attended Stewart House in 2011 because I was from a single parent home, struggling financially, I didn’t have friends and I generally didn’t fit in; my Principal thought I needed a break.

My time at Stewart House was a time I will never forget and a time I will always be grateful for.

What I remember attending Stewart House in 2011

The staff, teachers and supervisors, how fun they were, making us laugh with fun activities. They were there for us whenever we needed anything. Making friends, going to the pool, Powerhouse Museum, Taronga zoo, Sydney aquarium and the beach.

Pictured above: Girls having fun at the beach in 2010

 

Not having many friends at school was tough, but in my cabin and class at Stewart House everyone became friends with each other. It was a good feeling.

Volunteering 2018

Fast forward to 2018, I’ve lived in Adelaide for 2 years and am 1.5 years into a double degree at Flinders University, working part time and starting to make a life for myself. I have 5 weeks off over mid-year break. I could have stayed in Adelaide and worked a lot, but I wanted to do something a bit more meaningful with my time. I thought about what I could do and decided to email Stewart House.
Over the past 7 years I’ve thought about my time at Stewart House quite often; how much fun I had and how grateful I was to be chosen to attend. So now I’m back at Stewart House as a volunteer and it is still as amazing as I remember.
I can’t say that Stewart House changed my life; I went back to Broken Hill, went back to school and everything was the same. But the 12 days I was here were the funniest and happiest 12 days I had experienced in a long time and it was the break I needed at that point in my life. I hope I can help provide the kids here at the moment with a positive break from their home life, fun activities and good memories to cherish forever.


 Pictured above: Jess in her origami class

So far I have spent time with both girl’s cabins and a couple of the class groups. I’ve been on excursions with the classes and stayed in doing activities too. I ran an origami lesson with class C. It was the first time I had taught a lesson and it went really well.
All of the staff here are really kind and the kids have been great too. I was really nervous when I first got here, but everyone made me feel welcome. I connected with the kids pretty quickly and I feel like the kids really like having me here. If there is one thing I wish the students at Stewart House could take away from their time here is that their current circumstances do not define who they are and where they can go in life. I believe everyone can be and do extraordinary things if they work hard, think positively and never give up.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves” – Anonymous