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Social Justice

Supporting the homeless

Tevlin House students learning about homelessness

From Head of Tevlin House, John McCallum

All boys from all Houses from Years 5-12 are encouraged to bring in toiletry and other essential items in order to be able to provide a Christmas gift hamper for the homeless and marginalised groups which the Matt Talbot Hostel provides assistance.  Tevlin House has its major Social Justice issue as homelessness, and a large activity the House will co-ordinate is the Matthew Talbot Christmas Appeal.  This will run in Weeks 5, 6 and 7 of Term 4 until the end of November.  All donations can be brought into daily Mentor Groups, or to the Wellbeing Centre (Senior School), or Junior School Office.

Please bring…

  • Toiletries, including small toothbrush and toothpaste packs, shaving foam and razors, deodorant, small shampoo.
  • Keyring torches and caps
  • Men’s underwear, handkerchiefs and socks
  • Packets of playing cards and inexpensive wallets
  • Pens and small writing packs
  • Small packs of lollies
  • Environmentally friendly “Green” shopping bags

Tevlin students inspired to advocate and support the homeless

Last Friday, Tevlin students were fortunate to hear at their House Assembly from Mr Paul Longobardi from the St Vincent DePaul Society. One important service of Vinnies is the Matthew Talbot Hostel. This hostel in Woolloomooloo and other Australian locations provides accommodation, food, health, counselling and employment support for thousands of men each year who are experiencing homelessness or other difficulties. Boys were challenged to better understand the different types and factors involved with homelessness, and realise all people’s desire to have dignity in their lives. Boys left this experience feeling motivated towards helping this year’s Matthew Talbot Appeal become highly successful.


Speech by Adam McCabe to the College Assembly on 9 November

Good morning Mr Leddie, Mr Brennan, Staff and Young men of Waverley College

This week we launch the Matt Talbot Christmas Appeal. Many of the younger students here today have had little or no contact with homeless people or indeed the issue of homelessness.

This year, as part of the Service program, many of year 11 students visited the Wayside Chapel for their street retreat in which we only got a glimpse of what it was really like to be living on the streets. We were immediately put into their shoes, being immersed on how hard it is to be able to make ends meet from a day-to-day basis. Learning about what some of the causes of homelessness were and the 3 different types.  We were given a tour through the back alleyways of our Inner CBD and Woolloomooloo, this was where we all of us were shocked by the scale and the amount of people who are sleeping rough every day.

I hope none of us sitting here today will ever experience what it is like to live on the streets.

To fear falling asleep at night in case you are robbed or beaten, only to have all your possessions stolen. This is a reality for many men, women and children in our city at night.

I hope we don’t have feel the pain of the disgusted looks doled out by strangers who think a homeless person is less than human. Unable to explain that you are mentally ill or you’ve had a family breakdown.

This school does a lot of work with the homeless community every year. Every student will leave here having had at least one experience with homelessness in his senior years. The reasons for homelessness are very complex. If I’ve learnt one thing this year it is not to judge homeless people too harshly. Just look them in the eye and smile. This costs nothing and means so much. This is why I encourage all boys regardless of year to put their hand up and take part in initiatives that the school provides.

Tevlin will run the Matt Talbot Appeal this year. Matthew Talbot is run by the St Vincent de Paul society to be able to assist men within our city. We would love you to bring in some nice gifts for men who would receive no Christmas gift on Christmas morning. You will enjoy your gifts so much more knowing that you have made someone else’s Christmas better. The Matt Talbot hostel is one of the most well recognised homeless initiatives for men all around the Sydney CBD area, for this reason alone spending a few dollars on some socks or toiletries can make someone’s holiday season that much better.

One last thought, How would you feel if you woke up on Christmas morning only to find that there were no presents for you because somebody forgot or couldn’t be bothered to get you something. Please don’t forgot and please be bothered to contribute to the Matt Talbot appeal.