FAMILY PLANNING VICTORIA
On Monday, 8 October, Doncaster Secondary College was pleased to be able to host a Bonnie Lee from Family Planning Victoria. This session focused on the sexuality education which is covered in Health classes, and was organised in response to the work of the wellbeing action team. Parents on this team identified a need to better understand the curriculum being delivered so as they felt more prepared to engage in conversations with their children. Bonnie was able to communicate to our families the importance of including sexuality education as part of our Health Education curriculum, and through this we have developed a partnership where FPV will provide free professional learning for our Health teachers in 2019. I would like to acknowledge the work of Adam Knott (HPE Learning Area Leader) in organising the evening.
Wellbeing team 2019
We would like to welcome Bethany Moody and Sylvia Keane to our team for 2019. Both Bethany and Sylvia are qualified counsellors who have developed their skills and understanding of the role of a counsellor in a secondary school setting, through their placement at Brentwood SC. Bethany has already started to build relationships with our community through volunteering at DSC in term 4, 2018.
In 2019, our counsellors will be situated within the Sub-School offices. Having two counsellors will allow the wellbeing team to build on the fantastic work of Katherine Lazarus in implementing targeted programs to meet the specific needs of students within the sub-school. Through the expansion of our placement student program, we believe that we will be able to better support our students to build their social and emotional skills. Our placement students will be supported to build and apply their counselling skills through meditation, restorative conversations, implementation of the interventions for responding to bullying, reflective thinking, therapeutic counselling etc.
Search Institute: Developmental Assets
Drew Hanna (Student Wellbeing Coordinator, 2019) will be presenting to staff on the Developmental Asset Framework. This framework identifies 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets).https://www.search-institute.org/our-research/development-assets/developmental-assets-framework/
In introducing the framework to staff, Drew will make connections between the work currently taking place at DSC which is contributing to the development of these assets (Instructional model, DiSCovery, RRRR curriculum, Student Voice and Agency, Community involvement etc.) This will then set the scene for the work which will follow in 2019.
Whole school approach to the prevention and response to bullying
The working party focusing on preventing and responding to bullying will meet again on Tuesday, 27 November. Thank you to Jack Trewella for taking the lead role in this working party. The work will be ongoing however, we will be able to start the 2019 school year with guidelines for our College community around the prevention and response to bullying.
The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence will be held on March 15. Through making a commitment to be involved in this day, the wellbeing team will be able to partner closely with the level coordinators, DiSCovery teachers, student leaders (DSC Connect Captain Respectful Relationships Captain and the Social Justice Captains) to raise awareness and take action.
Presentation on Refugees and Asylum Seekers
The DSC Wellbeing Action Team were joined by Emma Hanna, (Missional Community Development Worker, Manningham Uniting Church, and DSC Wellbeing Action team member), and Marion Bailes (Connections Group Chair, Manningham Uniting Church). Marion Bailes has worked as a GP for over 25 years and has a longstanding interest in caring for socially disadvantaged patients of all ages, particularly refugees and asylum seekers. She has an interest in all areas of health and well-being and holds a Masters in Transcultural Mental Health. She currently works as a GP in a Refugee Health Clinic in a community health centre in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and also convenes a group at Manningham Uniting Church which aims to support and advocate for refugees and asylum seekers.
Marion and Emma were able to raise our awareness of the refugee and asylum seeker journey and provided some examples of how the Manningham Uniting Church (MUC) had supported refugees and asylum seekers.
· Emergency Medication Fund – established and donate to an Emergency Medical Fund held at Eastern Access Community Health for Asylum Seekers to access health care.
· Knitting - Monthly Knitting group that meets on a Monday afternoon and knits jumpers and beanie and teddies for newly arrived refugees.
· Food drives - collection of non-perishable items that get donated to Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
· Toiletry Bags - MUC collect donations of toiletry items and make up toiletry bags for newly arrived refugees, these are handed out by the refugee health nurses.
· Advocacy and Awareness raising - hosting guest speakers, participate in awareness raising presentations and advocate through letter writing to politicians.
· Fund Raising - MUC fundraise for organisations like Refugee Legal, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, We Care Nauru, Lentara
· Relationships and Partnerships - we have strong relationships and partnerships with organisations like the Asylum Seeker resource Centre (ASRC), Refugee Legal, Lentara, EACH
The Doncaster Secondary College community has an opportunity to support the work of the Manningham Uniting Church, through identifying the area in which we can contribute. One such opportunity may be supporting newly arrived school aged refugee children with back packs, including books and pencils.