HOLAs By Profession, Heroes By Passion Projects

For many of our staff, the incredible work they do within the community extends beyond the four walls of the College.

They are exceptional leaders for students, carrying out the College’s Mercy Values here at Santa Maria and in their passion projects outside the classroom.

Take some of our HOLAs (Head of Learning Areas), for example. Ailsa Harris, Head of Science, and Jayne Kingwell, Head of Humanities & Social Sciences, are currently fundraising for some incredible organisations.

Ailsa and her three friends, Lisa O’Malley, Karen Greenwood, and Alice Brennan, have organised a garden party fundraiser, ‘Bubbles for LifelineWA’, on Sunday 6 May.

The motivation behind creating the event for these ladies is to raise funds for much-needed resources to help those struggling with their mental health, giving them the support they need to heal and thrive.

“We know mental health is vital to our overall wellbeing, yet it often goes overlooked. Lifeline WA plays a crucial role in helping people through difficult times with their Crisis Call Centres”, says Ailsa.

Ailsa’s garden party aims to raise $12,000, enough for three more volunteers for the crisis centre.

“Last year, there was a 60% increase in calls to Lifeline WA’s crisis call centre, with over 6500 calls answered by the extraordinary volunteers. Delivering this vital service costs $1000 for every 25 crisis calls and $4000 to train and support one new volunteer. Donations play a crucial role in the ability of LifelineWA to deliver the support and resources needed to those struggling with mental health.”, adds Ailsa.

So far, Ailsa and her three friends have been overwhelmed with people’s generosity, lining up over 25 sponsors already, including Willie Creek Pearls, Coast Port Beach, Wild Road Gin Company, and more.

Tickets to the event have even sold out. However, donations are still welcome, which can be made here. For further information, or if you want to donate raffle prizes for the event, please get in touch with [email protected].

In addition, we also have Jayne, who is on a mission to raise funds for brain cancer research.

The charity that Jayne has chosen to support is Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer. 97% of all proceeds go to brain cancer research, and she will also be shaving her head to show further support.

Jayne explains that on her way to work one day, she heard that brain cancer is the biggest cancer killer of Australians under the age of 40. With Jayne’s 40th birthday approaching, it made her reflect with gratitude on her own health.

“My perspective on this milestone birthday is that I am incredibly lucky to get to turn 40. Raising money for brain cancer research is my way of expressing that gratitude.”, says Jayne.

“I regularly say to my own kids that what someone looks like is the least interesting thing about them – this is a way of living out that message. Hair is hair, my hair is not me, and at the end of the day, it will grow back! I have enjoyed having these body image conversations not only with my own children but with my students. I hope I have empowered them somewhat to see that they are indeed so much more interesting than the length of their hair!”, adds Jayne.

If you would like to donate to Carrie’s Beanies, you can visit here.

We are so proud of Ailsa and Jayne and wish them the best of luck in their respective journeys.

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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