We often associate ‘conferences’ as being something that is directed towards adults, however, through the Round Square network, our Westminster students are extremely lucky to have many opportunities to attend a variety of conferences throughout the year, both locally and internationally. We advertise these opportunities regularly through email, SEQTA notices, word of mouth and in our eNews. The financial cost for these conferences can vary depending on the length and venue. All conferences planned for next year will obviously be dependent on COVID restrictions both here and overseas, but we are still hopeful that some may take place, particularly those later in the year.
On average, an Australian based conference is usually the cost of flights plus around $800 which includes accommodation, food and activities for around four to five days. International conferences can be between $4000-6500 per person depending on where they are held. This price includes not only the flights and main conference but usually a pre or post-conference tour of four to five days, making the total trip around two weeks in length.
Each conference has a theme based on the IDEALS of Round Square. There are usually a combination of world-renowned guest speakers, group discussions, workshops, cultural visits, community service and adventure activities.
With specific age-range conferences, students are able to work with other delegates of a similar age, discussing topics and participating in activities that are age-appropriate. The International Conference and all Globally Accessible Conferences include students from multiple countries across the world and up to 500 delegates per host school.
Regional Conferences usually include students from all or many of the schools in the region in which the conference takes place. Each school brings a delegation of students and accompanying adults.
Every year the Round Square International Conference (RSIC) is hosted by a different Round Square Region on rotation. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 conference scheduled for Australia was cancelled, however, the 2021 conference will be held in the United Kingdom and Westminster is looking forward to participating once again. We will begin expressions of interest to attend this conference in early Term 4, 2020. It will be open to any student at Westminster aged 16+ in the year of the conference (some exceptions are given though for slightly younger students, so I encourage you to apply even if you are only 15, but will be in Year 10 next year). This conference occurs around the end of September each year.
Teamwork heavily features in every Round Square Conference and students are encouraged to participate, collaborate and involve themselves positively in every aspect. This teamwork helps students to develop the fundamental skills associated with working as a collective unit toward a common goal. This type of teamwork introduces a variety of skills that will be valuable for our students later in the workforce, such as negotiating, persuading, compromising, conflict management and collective effort.
Each Round Square International Conference, and many regional and local conferences offer an adventure activity or day, as well as an opportunity to participate in a Service Learning activity. This varies greatly depending on the host school, the event programme and the country you are visiting. Whatever the activities planned by your host school are, it is always encouraged to embrace the adventure and enjoy the experience. Service activities offer the opportunity to demonstrate citizenship and leadership skills, a respect for the dignity of all, the ability to work with diverse people and initiate social change, whilst also making a difference in the community.
There is usually a range of pre/post-conference trips also available. These are often cultural and adventure-themed where your school delegation might meet with another Round Square School to experience a town/city/country en-route to or from the conference. These aren’t compulsory and are negotiated with the delegates attending.
If any student is interested in attending any conferences for 2021, please email me directly to find out more. The cost will vary depending on the location and length of the conference, and I will distribute more information via email shortly. Age restrictions apply to most of the conferences and this is to ensure that students are working with similarly aged students on a variety of Round Square issues.
In response to the increased need for food relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic and bushfires, Foodbank SA is running a School Food Drive and Fundraiser between Thursday 30 July and Friday 20 November 2020.
Food Drives are a great way for schools and students to help supply the non-perishable items that are always needed by Foodbank. The most wanted items are those everyone usually has in their pantries (see our list below). Food Drives are a safe way for students to volunteer their time to help South Australians in need or raise money for a good cause.
Thanks to Mrs Louise Linn and Year 10 Fricker students (with support from the Round Square Student Committee members), Westminster’s Foodbank SA Food Drive is well underway. In fact, our smallest members of the school in the ELC are leading the way already by providing a lot of items! Great job ELC!
Donation Boxes are now being placed in various locations around the school for our Prep and Senior students to also bring items to donate to Foodbank. We will collect items until the end of Week 9 this term and aim for delivery to Foodbank during Week 10 (end of September).
What are Foodbank’s Most Wanted Items?
Written by Leler Dai
On Friday 7 August, the Environmental Action Group (EAG) volunteered to help Vinteloper Vineyard replant trees after the Cudlee Creek bushfires destroyed the property last summer. This was in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots program which encourages students from across the world to participate in conservation and environmental projects. Five of our students joined students from Norwood Morialta, Pembroke and Urrbrae Schools to replant a total of 400 trees. Although it was the coldest August day on record, there was a great sense of spirit amongst the mud, wind and rain! As well as succeeding in recreating the Vineyard, the students were also able to develop, create and improve friendships with other voluntary groups. We are hoping we will be involved in more service projects like this in the future.
*Thanks to Ms Kara Lucas for coordinating this activity for our EAG members
For further information on Round Square, our initiatives, exchanges, or conferences, please contact me via Email.
Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator