Week Without Words
Conducted and led by Year 10 students, Week Without Words is celebrated by our school to highlight the challenges of children who struggle to communicate verbally. Everyday, 95% of the children at St Lucy’s in Wahroonga have difficulties speaking due to conditions such as dyspraxia and autism. By supporting the Week Without Words cause, we aimed to raise awareness and help raise money for crucial equipment and programs for St Lucy’s.
The week kicked off with a Zoom presentation to all the Houses which included a quick introduction using sign language and a rundown of what was going to happen during the week. A few girls were invited to go down to the Primary School to share how they could get involved in the activities.
On Tuesday, everyone participated in a fun Kahoot to test their knowledge about the valuable week and learn much more about AUSLAN. Conducted by a few students in Year 10, Midday Gong was organised to support the wonderful cause and to reflect on how the lives of the children at St Lucy’s are affected.
On Wednesday, everyone was able to get involved in some fun silent games such as charades to put ourselves in the shoes of those who live their lives like this every single day. Thanks to the Student Council and Year 10, we were taught how to recite ‘Cruci Dum Spiro Fido’ in AUSLAN – we look forward to doing this with the whole school soon.
Lastly, on Friday, Year 10 participated in the annual Silent Day. ‘Silent Day’ is a day where Year 10 can’t use their voices as a means of communication in order to step into the lives of those at St Lucy’s and to experience firsthand what it is like.
Overall, we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who made this year’s Week Without Words possible. Although the week looked a bit different this year, we were able to conduct a very valuable awareness-raising week. We would also like to say a big thank you to both Ms De Mattia and Ms Minto for orchestrating the whole week. We could not have done it without their help as well as all of Year 10 getting behind us. The change we were able to create will definitely not go unnoticed by our friends at St Lucy’s.
For students moving into Year 10 next year, we suggest that you should definitely sign up to this event as it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Suloshi De Alwis and Isabella Knox
Be a Conscious Consumer
Christmas involves spending time with family and friends, exchanging gifts and eating special foods for a large proportion of Australians, regardless of faith background.
Christmas preparations typically include shopping for gifts; for some this is a delightful experience, yet it fills others with dread! Especially when we are time-poor, a session of online shopping or a frenetic race around shops to complete our gift list can ensue. Regardless of one’s modus operandi, the JPIC and Green Team have challenged the community to choose gifts whereby more than just the gift-recipient has been considered in the decision. Conscious consumerism involves considering both the recipient of the gift and the source of that gift. Has the person who made it received a fair wage? What is the environmental impact of this gift?
On 13th November, the Green Team and JPIC groups enjoyed a presentation from Kim Pearce and Kath Davis, from The Possibility Project, about what it means to be a conscious consumer and social enterprise. The Possibility Project online store and shopfront in Wahroonga stocks ethical clothing. Their offerings include the slumwear108 range, which has been made by a community in Jaipur, India, as well as a whole raft of products made locally. The students were really engaged in the talk and took on top tips for enjoying “slower” fashion through op-shopping and swapping clothes with friends. The JPIC students are currently planning for a school-wide clothing-swap in Term 1 and are encouraging students to go through their cupboards to find items, in excellent condition, that they could donate.
And what about the person who has it all? Consider buying charity gifts on their behalf, sometimes referred to as Gifts that Give. Many charities, operating in Australia and internationally, offer lots of options to help those who are less fortunate.
It’s also important to remember that Christmas can be tough for many people at the best of times and 2020 will bring challenges to people who have not experienced them previously. The focus in Term 4 at Loreto Normanhurst is on the Vinnies Christmas Hamper Appeal and this year, the charity has seen increased demand for food bank items as well as basic toiletries. The generosity of our families has ensured that we have several very full hampers to donate next week, but given the current shortage of stock, we are hopeful that we can surpass previous years’ contributions from the Loreto Normanhurst community – we will continue to collect until Wednesday 2nd December.
We wish you a safe and joyous Christmas.
Mrs Elizabeth Cranfield and Ms Mel Clancy
Ecology and Social Justice Coordinators