Our motto Strength through Faith and Knowledge is not merely about our own development but a key component of our mission is centred on the importance of service - of acting as Christ’s disciples for all in our community. We have various outreach programmes at St Patrick’s College and these involve not only volunteers but also the entire College community in House based and Whole school based activities.
St Vincent de Paul has a strong presence here at the College and its members from Years 7-12 are involved in many activities within the community. Each term the group determines a community need on which to focus and have, in recent years, provided for Marillac House, the arrival of asylum seekers at Pontville, and Winter Clothing drives. In particular, at the end of the year the Vinnies’ group coordinates the Christmas Hampers Project. All Tutor groups receive some details about a family in the northern Tasmanian region who need assistance over Christmas. They provide a food hamper filled with foods fit for Christmas lunch and at least one gift for each member of the family. Last year the College was able to support 42 families from within the community.
St Patrick’s College has a long association with Eddie Rice Camps Tasmania. Each year students from the College volunteer their time to attend camps held during the various holidays for primary-aged children. These children are often experiencing some challenges and the camps are a way for them to have an older buddy who will give them undivided attention and the opportunity to experience great activities and a heap of fun.
City Mission and Red Cross have been in partnership with St Patrick’s College for a number of years with students offering support to City Mission’s afternoon Soup Van, Kids Club, and the Friday evening Missionbeat, and the Red Cross’ Breakfast Club (students also volunteer at Summerdale Primary School’s Breakfast Club) and Blood Donation Service.
The Smith Family’s Student 2 Student Reading Program has recently been introduced to St Patrick’s College with wonderful results. Students commit to becoming a mentor to a student in a primary school who needs extra assistance in their reading. The primary students read to their St Patrick’s College mentor for 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week over the telephone. The development of the younger students has been incredible and it has been a real privilege for our students to share in the gift of reading with these young students.
Students at St Patrick’s College are privileged to be able to work with such a variety of community organisations and we are grateful for their encouragement, support and formation of our young people. These outreach opportunities allow our students to make invaluable connections within our society and challenge them to consider how they can contribute to their local community.