27 November 2017

Community Service

Long Term Partnerships

It is sometimes difficult for boys engaged in short-term service activities to see the bigger picture of our engagement as an institution within the community. While the individual student involvement may be short-lived, the long-term commitment from the institutional perspective can be substantial. There are many examples. The Scotch College partnership with Rocky Bay goes back decades with small groups of boys helping out in the Recreation Centre and fundraising. As a Uniting Church School, Scotch has been supporting UnitingCare West - Winter and Christmas Appeals for many years. The partnership with Balga High School goes back eleven years - likewise partnerships with the Paraquad Centre, Braemar Aged Care Centre, Tranby (Homelessness) Day Centre and 'Friends of Lake Claremont'. These organisations know us well and are grateful for the long-term assistance from our boys.

UCW student forum

Scotch boys join students from other Uniting Church schools for the UnitingCare West Annual Student Forum.

How to Serve

Lilla Watson a Brisbane-based Aboriginal activist and organiser said: "If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." This implies an inclusive, interconnected community - one in which we are all a part. Not 'them and us': not based on who has or does not have the power, but a partnership where each party gains liberation of the spirit. The powerful liberated from a sense of entitlement and the powerless energised and liberated from a sense of isolation.

Another quote that helps to think about how to serve is one from the film 'Poverty Inc': "Having the heart of the poor is easy. Having a mind for the poor, that's the challenge"...and the challenges are many. In our judicial system, community service is used as a punishment - to repay society for the wrong committed. Making service mandatory is a little like a punishment and can lead to 'clock watching' and a sense of dread approaching a deadline for completing hours. It has been suggested in the USA that service is a violation of the 13th Amendment - that protects against slavery!

We can't ignore that a service record is increasingly being used for entry into tertiary institutions. However, students who collect service entries in a transcript with an intended purpose of impressing an application board - and later on for impressing employers - perhaps miss the point!

John Eby, Professor of Sociology and Director of Service Learning at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania wrote: "The demands a learning orientation places on service limits its effectiveness and its ability to address community needs at a structural level" and "Through participation in service-learning, students may develop truncated understandings of the nature of social problems and of strategies for fundamental social change".

It is difficult to get it right and perhaps it is best not to over-think the issue! At Scotch we want boys to serve well beyond school. We want our graduates to be servant leaders in their work places and in the broader community. Some compulsion is good, provided it is strategic in creating exposure to difference and community issues that are not ordinarily in the realm of experiences of a typical student. But it is important for boys to understand that their liberation is bound up with those they serve.

The Scotch Service Model provides a template for understanding the nature of service in our College. Activities should connect students to different groups in order to dispel a sense of paternalism. Service activities should be cognisant of the role that nurturing plays - for both the recipients of the service - and the students in contact. Students should be inspired through the stories they hear and the people with whom they come into contact. Activities and programmes have sustainability at their core for the individual, the community and the environment.

service model

Year 10 Round Square Exchanges 2017

Application forms for current Year 9 boys wishing to go on exchange in 2017 are available from the Student Services office or from Mr Cordner. These need to be completed by the end of Autumn Term. Interviews will take place as soon as an application form has been returned. There was a good turnout at the recent Information Evening with a lot of support provided from boys and parents who have been through the process in the past few years. A list of schools that Scotch boys have exchanged to can be found here.

UnitedCare West Winter Appeal

UC Winter Appeal

With winter now upon us, UnitingCare West (UCW) is getting ready to provide support for our most vulnerable in our community - those sleeping rough on the streets of Perth. Scotch has supported all the UCW appeals for many years and we hope to make a big contribution this winter. In addition to clothing, particularly jeans and other warm weather gear, food is also being requested by UCW collections. A chart illustrating the types of suitable items can be found here.

Boys in the Senior School are requested to bring clothing and food items and drop them off with their House Head or deposit them in Mr Cordner's office.

Mr Bill Cordner

Director of Community and Service