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)