FROM THE DIRECTOR OF STUDENT WELLBEING, MATT PORTER
Mufti Day for Drought Relief
On Tuesday of this week, students in Years 7-12 dressed in Mufti Gear and made a gold coin donation in support of the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal. Thanks to the generosity of our parents, families and community, we raised over $1000. These funds will be used to alleviate financial pressures and support the health and well-being of severely drought-affected farmers, farming families and farming communities. Financial support will be made available to meet everyday household expenses, as well as enabling access to social, health and educational activities. 100% of every dollar donated will help farming families and communities. For more information or to make further contributions please click here https://www.redcross.org.au/drought
Congratulations to Lacey and Conlon Houses who were equal winners of the Lunchtime House Trivia Competition on the day. Teams consisted of up to 15 boys from years 7-12. This follows on from successful lunchtime competitions in Futsal and the Year 11 spelling bee with the 2018 Overall House Points Championship still well and truly up for grabs.
Mental Health in Education Conference
Last week I had the great pleasure of presenting at the Mental Health in Education Conference for Konnect Learning at the Sir Stanford Hotel in Circular Quay. Delegates from Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions from across Australia met to discuss issues related to the Mental Health and Wellbeing of our young people. This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase Waverley College as a mentally healthy school and to promote mental health and wellness and help seeking behaviours in our boys and young men.
You can access a copy of my presentation below. In the lead up to RU OK day, remember that is OK to not be OK and when it comes to discussing Mental Health, similar to DRSABCD in response to a physical emergency, doing anything is often better than doing nothing. If you are concerned about your son in any way please contact the relevant Head of House, our School Counsellors or myself.
Some useful tips and advice on how to start a conversation with your son can be found on the Headspace website https://headspace.org.au/dads/
More information is available for parents as part of the Waverley College SchoolTV program https://waverley.nsw.schooltv.me/
Live life to the full and Wear it Purple Day
Live Life to the Full is Edmund Rice Education Australia’s response to providing safe and inclusive learning environments for all students, in particular for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people. Every human person – child, young person and adult – is made in the image and likeness of God. (Gen 1:26-27) “It is fundamental for our human development that our dignity, freedom and autonomy be acknowledged and respected.” Research carried out over the last twenty years has highlighted the strong correlation between homophobic and transphobic bullying and the impact on the mental health and wellbeing of victims. This research has demonstrated that schools are the predominant location for this abuse, both verbal and physical.
In 2010 61% of young people who identified as either same-sex attracted or gender questioning reported verbal abuse because of homophobia. Young men and gender questioning young people reported more abuse than young women.
Although most LGBTIQA+ Australians live healthy, happy lives, a disproportionate number experience worse health outcomes than their heterosexual peers, in particular mental health and suicidal ideation. Same-sex attracted Australians have up to 14x higher rates of suicide attempts than their heterosexual peers.
Friday the 31st of August is “Wear it Purple Day”. This is an awareness raising day in support of our LGBTIQA+ staff, students, parents and families. Students and staff may choose to wear a purple ribbon to show their support on this day. The EREA Live life to the full document stresses the importance of our schools as inclusive communities where All people feel safe and supported. Wellbeing Mentor Groups will engage in a discussion topic on what more Waverley College could be doing to promote inclusivity and to combat homophobia.
If you have any ideas or suggestions please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please EREA’s Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities document: https://www.erea.edu.au/about-us/safe-and-inclusive-learning-communities