The Gift of An Education for Life

Our three current Indigenous Scholars and two Global Citizen Scholars share their reflections on what a St Leonard’s College education means to them. These students bring a deeper level of understanding and connection within our College community and we would like to acknowledge Kera, Tamia, Susan, Sahar and Azada with gratitude and appreciation for all that they contribute. We thank them for sharing these reflections with our community.

Year 12 Global Citizen Scholar
I enjoy the great learning and friendly environment at St Leonard’s College. The teachers are really helpful; encouraging us to ask questions and making sure students are comfortable in terms of the class environment and schoolwork. The students are friendly and inclusive. St Leonard’s has provided me so many opportunities that I might not have had otherwise. The variety of extra-curricular activities and sports have taught me punctuality and teamwork. St Leonard’s makes sure that its students are developing in terms of personality and building character, as well as getting the best quality education. I am most grateful for the valuable education and knowledge that I have obtained from the school. St Leonard’s has pushed me to flourish and grow. Even I, myself, have noticed the growth and changes in me. Additionally, I have learned time management, and have developed some other qualities like organisation that are crucial for surviving in the adult world. I am really thankful to St Leonard’s for everything, especially for preparing me for the adult world in the best possible way.

Year 12 Global Citizen Scholar
What I enjoy the most about St Leonard’s College is its supportive learning environment. I highly enjoy both the extra-curricular activities as well as the academic learning aspect of the College. I am grateful for many different parts of my education. I have had the fortunate opportunity to attend St Leonard’s College with wonderful facilities, students, and learning environments. Not every child has this opportunity as I do, which I feel very fortunate about. The support that I get assists me with my personal and academic growth. If I had to pick one thing that I’m most thankful for it would be my teachers and staff throughout school. I have always had wonderful teachers. My teachers are always passionate about their classroom and students, they are role models I can look up to and admire.

Year 8 Indigenous Scholar
This is my second year at St Leonard’s College and I am in year 8. Last year was a bit hard as I didn’t get to go home for the whole year, but the teachers were really good at helping me to learn new stuff. My homestay family really looked after me well, especially when I was homesick. I have friends at Warruwi who asked me questions about going to school in Melbourne. I told them that if they go to school more, they might get a chance like me. Coming to St Leonard’s College gives me a chance to have some choices in the future, like choosing different jobs or studying more. I am so grateful to have the chance to come to Melbourne and St Leonard’s College so I can learn in a safe place. My family at home are so proud of me and they really helped me to decide to come to St Leonard’s. I am glad I did because it is fun, and I have got to meet many new friends. I am playing basketball and soccer which is great. I love to take photos and I am able to study photography this year. Although it was hard at the start, I am so much more confident to try things I have never done before. This will really help me in the future too.

Year 10 Indigenous Scholar
Being here at St Leonard’s College gives me the chance to experience so much more than if I was staying at Warruwi. We don’t have a secondary school on South Goulburn Island, so I get to go to school here instead. I am grateful that I can learn a lot of different subjects that we don’t have at Warruwi such as Commerce. I can do a lot more with sport like playing competitive basketball (with proper rules) and football against other schools. Being here at St Leonard’s means that I have more opportunities to get a higher level of skill in reading and writing. Hopefully this will help me in the future to have a better understanding of the real world and to get a job. I would really like to get the chance to play AFLW; being involved in football in Melbourne may help this to happen. St Leonard’s is a safe place and I feel protected and welcomed by everyone. St Leonard’s helps me to feel connected to home which is important to me. We have a Warruwi Connect group; other students can come and learn some Maung language and hear about life in an indigenous community, photos of Warruwi are on display and lots of students and teachers have visited and know where I come from. I have some great friends who are always happy to see me. I feel accepted just for who I am and not because I’m anyone special or different.

Year 12, Indigenous Scholar
I came to St Leonard’s College in 2016 in year 7. This is my sixth year and I am so excited about doing year 12 this year. My family are so proud of me because at St Leonard’s College I have been able to do so much. When I was in the Middle School musical in year 8 my mum came down from Warruwi and watched me. Nobody in my family has ever been able to do anything like that before. The opportunity to play the flute and have singing lessons has helped me learn more about music, something that my family values as they are very musical. I have pushed myself to try things that were out of my comfort zone and I think that this will help me to have a go at other things in the future such as studying more and applying for jobs. I have also had connections with the St Kilda Football Club and done some training sessions. Playing school football was great, especially as we won the Grand Final in 2019. This year I hope I will be able to help in the St Leonard’s ELC as part of my VET course at Holmesglen TAFE. I want to be able to continue with childcare as a career. St Leonard’s College is a safe place for me. The teachers look after us so well, they really care and are always happy to help. At Warruwi sometimes children don’t go to school. I would like to go back to Warruwi and encourage them to go to school so they might be able to have the same sort of opportunities as I have been given. I am grateful for all the experiences that I have had over the past 6 years. I hope I can become a good role model for others.