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Making a difference in our local community
Written by Charles McIntosh Arts, 2015, Students’ Club Chair 2017
The first thing you hear when you enter Ormond as a student is that this is a College that strives to make a disproportionate difference. However, as many communities do, we sometimes get stuck looking inward and predominately being focused on what happens within our College grounds.
It takes a walk of 100m beyond our gates to encounter the startling disadvantage faced by some of our friends in the local community. These are the familiar faces we all know as we make our morning coffee run, but whose daily challenges are so foreign to our own.
Through being attentive to these human experiences beyond our gates we discover several things. First, the reason why we as a College strive to help others. Second, that our common drive to help others in our local community is much more important than any differences of opinion that might exist within our little corner of College Crescent. That’s why we as a Students’ Club have chosen to concentrate our efforts on helping our local community with homelessness.
Given this focus, the Students’ Club has created various initiatives aimed at helping homelessness in our area of Melbourne. During O-week we worked with 11 different charitable organisations that all focus on making a difference to homeless peoples’ lives. New students engaged in activities ranging from packing sanitary packs for dispersal around Melbourne to cooking pancakes for morning tea. These activities provided students with greater insight into the complexities involved in the issue while making a meaningful contribution to it.
This event has been followed by a series of speakers at Ormond to further understand and engage with the issue. This includes a case competition, where Ormond students were invited to use their marketing and design skills to create needed new brand logos for use by the Melbourne Period Project on their products.
During the rest of the year, we aim to continue to hold events which both increase our community’s insight into this pressing local issue and make a positive difference to people’s lives. We held an Ormond movie night and sleep out to raise funds for sleeping bags for those sleeping rough over winter in Melbourne. In Semester 2, we’ll be packing the annual Homelessness week full of opportunities to learn and lend a helping hand.
In these small ways, we hope to ensure that Ormond always remains connected to the world outside our gates as this connection will ensure that we also flourish as a community.