In July, 2013 ateam of nine students from New College (Tim Curtin, Makenzie Russel, Georgia Freeman, Emily Kozera, Georgia Diebold, Damian Montgomery, Damian Gill, and Alistair Smith) spent a week volunteering in the summer holiday program at the PCYC in Bourke, in rural NSW.
This was the second volunteer trip organised, fundraised and run by collegians. It was a resounding success. Program coordinators Tim Curtin and Makenzie Russel oversaw the logistics of the trip and found that the hard work put into planning and organising the volunteer program was definitely worth it. The staff at the PCYC greatly valued their contribution and the children had a fantastic time.
Tim Curtin reflects on the experience:
During the week, we entertained the children by hosting a variety of fun games and activities. These included: arts and crafts, obstacle courses, face painting, cooking, ball games, various sports, movie time, musical chairs, circus skills, jewellery making, board games, scrapbooking, fishing, and more.
Our involvement meant that we could relieve stress from the dedicated PCYC staff, whilst also investing our time, creativity and energy into the children – many of whom don’t receive this kind of positive attention at home or at school.
One particular highlight of the trip was the opportunity to visit Alice Edwards village – an Aboriginal reserve just outside of Bourke. It was an extremely eye-opening experience, as we witnessed first-hand what was essentially poverty in our own backyard here in Australia. The socio-economic disadvantage in parts of this community hit home just how lucky we are to live at New College and to attend UNSW here in Sydney.
New College is planning on implementing a long-term commitment to the Bourke community, including the awarding of prizes to local school children. New Collegians are planning another trip for the July Holiday program in 2014.
Prepared by Tim Curtin with photography by Rachael Flanagan