Hundreds of students in Timor-Leste will receive pencil cases filled with useful items and plenty of goodwill through a community project led by McAuley College Beaudesert.
For 2023 MacKillop Day, students and staff from MacKillop House made up 210 pencil cases for a school in Timor-Leste.
In addition to their own fundraising efforts, they secured donations from Beaudesert Lions, Beaudesert CWA, local businesses, Scenic Rim Regional Council and local, state and federal political representatives.
The Beaudesert Bulletin caught up with MacKillop House Captains, Matilda Watterson and Elizabeth Fritter, to find out the reasons behind the project.
“It’s about never seeing a need without doing something about it, it’s very inspired by what Mary MacKillop did,” said Matilda.
“On MacKillop Day, we talk about our Patron Saint Mary MacKillop and her life and what she did, so we focus on things like love and courage, and as part of that we have an ‘act of service’ project to help others,” said Elizabeth.
“It’s important to understand how your simple actions can make such a large difference, because something we might see as insignificant could be lifechanging to someone else and you never know unless you just do it.”
MacKillop Day, on 27 March, kicked off with a whole of school assembly at which MacKillop students showed videos of how others could help around the school and serenaded their peers with ‘All You Need is Love’, by the Beatles.
At the assembly, teacher Alice Carwardine shared stories from when she visited Timor-Leste, including how students would still go to school despite their school buildings having no windows, no doors and sometimes even no teachers.
Everyone from MacKillop House wore their green shirts and ‘All You Need is Love’ rung out from the school speakers as the school bell.
Each PC class was given pencil cases with pens, pencils, erasers, colouring sets, scissors, glue and sharpeners to organise and send overseas. They decorated postcards with an affirmation message to go with the pencil cases, and there were also colourful handmade teddy bears donated by Beaudesert CWA.
They rounded out their morning with a celebratory morning tea, games and decorating the footpath with chalk art.