As always at Westminster, there are many exciting things happening and time just seems to fly by! In the past few weeks, we have been getting some of our Round Square service programs up and running and in turn giving our Westminster students the opportunity to be involved and become well-rounded members of the local and international community.
Late last year we sought nominations for the Round Square Student Committee (RSSC) and we are very pleased to have Abigail Wicks (Year 12 Clark) leading the way for Round Square at Westminster for 2019. I am sure with such an enthusiastic and motivated person in charge, the pillars of Round Square will continue to be a valued part of our school community.
In addition to our Chairperson, we also have a dynamic and enthusiastic group of students from Years 6 to 12, who are volunteering their time to take responsibility for the promotion and organisation of each of the IDEALS of Round Square.
Currently our Round Square Student Committee meets every fortnight in even weeks, during a Monday lunchtime. We will also be presenting regularly at Senior and Prep school assemblies this year to share any Round Square news. We are always happy to include new members, so if you are interested in joining the RSSC, please contact me via Email me as soon as possible. The more the merrier!
I look forward to working with all of our committee members and am certain they will all play an integral role in promoting the Round Square philosophy to our Westminster community.
As mentioned previously, there are many aspects to Round Square and how it plays a role in our school community. One of these is through the participation and organisation of a variety of ‘Service’ projects. Westminster has a long history of being a highly involved and well-respected school with regards to its participation in a variety of these programs in both the local and international arena. I have outlined a couple of these in more detail later in the article.
‘A key method used by Round Square schools to prepare students for life is by the expectation of serving others. Each student is encouraged to perform a substantial number of service hours, either in school-sponsored, regional or international projects.
Round Square International Service Projects bring together students from member schools across the globe to work as a truly international team in some of the poorest parts of the world.
A spirit of service celebrates personal development through practical experience bringing sustainable support and benefit to others. Keenness and ability to learn in real-world contexts delivers meaningful and lasting value to others as well as to the primary learner. An understanding and respect for cultural difference develops through shared experience and partnership.
A person living out a spirit of service considers the opportunity, in all aspects of everyday life, to provide for the needs of others and take social action. They seek to ensure that their impact and the difference they make in the world, are positive. Socially-responsible decision-making infuses every area of life from employment and business to personal, financial and domestic decisions.’
Taken from the Round Square website: www.roundsquare.org
At Westminster we encourage all of our students to seek out opportunities in which they can develop their ‘Service’ skills during their school years. We routinely promote many of these ‘Service’ opportunities via email or daily notices and students are always more than welcome to email or chat with me, if they are curious to know what other options are available.
Last year alone, Foodbank South Australia provided enough food for more than 3,400,000 meals. Foodbank South Australia is a non-denominational community supported, non-profit organisation which relies on the support of a large network of dedicated people who have a commitment to fulfilling the vision of a South Australia without hunger.
Established in South Australia in 2000, Foodbank South Australia’s core concept remains simple – to feed those in need by redistributing surplus food. Food growers, manufacturers and processors produce quantities of food which, for various commercial reasons, cannot be sold. The products may be incorrectly labelled, have faulty packaging, be part of a trial run or are not produced to exact specifications. It is estimated that as much as 30% of all food produced is unsaleable for a variety of reasons.
Increasingly, welfare agencies are involved in an on-going struggle to provide food relief to thousands of people who are dependent on food handouts to supplement their welfare benefits. Foodbank South Australia is the link between these two groups. Foodbank provides an outlet to food companies for their surplus stock and at the same time, allows community support agencies to save time and resources in the solicitation of nutritious food.
Over the years Foodbank South Australia’s Food Procurement Team has established a strong connection with local food producers, manufacturers and retailers to purchase core staple items at discounted rates. This equips them with the ability to offer to their welfare partners healthy, nutritious, essential food items that should be in everyone’s pantries on a regular, reliable basis.
We have had a number of our Westminster students assist at Foodbank over the years and we currently have a very dedicated ‘Foodbank Fridays’ group, led by Dayna Holroyd (Year 12 Jeffries) that attend a meal packing and preparation session every Friday during the term from 4.00 to 6.00 pm. There is room for another few students to join this group if you are interested. Please email me immediately if you are keen to be involved.
Just one more way that Westminster is giving back to its local community.
Another worthwhile Westminster Service project is the Resthaven ‘Coffee & Chat’ Program. Westminster has a long history working with Resthaven Marion and this year we would love to have another group of dedicated students willing to help out the Resthaven residents with any technological questions they may have, or just to sit and have a chat about life in general.
Staff member Jenny Howland usually leads this group and starting in Term 2, will take a group of four to six students to Resthaven Marion on a Friday afternoon from 3.45 until 5.00pm. I will be sending out an email to ask for student interest for this project very soon. Not only is this a great opportunity to bring different generations together but it is also a valuable way for our students to show their skills and understanding in this area.
The annual Round Square International Conference (RSIC) is the highlight of the Round Square year and is always an action-packed, vibrant, social and intellectual occasion. Students from across the globe engage in a program of discussion groups 'Barazzas', workshops, cultural visits, service and adventure activity.
Every year the RSIC is hosted by a different school in one of five regions and has a theme based on the IDEALS of Round Square.
Each Round Square school brings a delegation of students who always return home with a vast set of new experiences and ideas that have a profoundly positive impact on their world outlook.
In the past few years, conferences have been held in Thailand, South Africa, England, India, Switzerland and Canada.
Expressions of Interest for this conference must close on Monday 25 February, and places are still available. This year our hosts are Emerald Heights in Indore, India and the trip will include a short pre-conference tour beginning around Saturday 28 September.
Students must be 16+ or turning 16 in the year of the conference in order to be eligible. Expression of Interest forms have been previously sent out to parents and students several times but if more are required, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Anyone interested in finding out more information about the International conferences for 2019 and beyond or any other Round Square initiative should contact me via Email.
Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator