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.
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 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!