BOARDERS from St Patrick’s College and Ballarat Grammar have set aside school rivalries to unite and support the community.
As part of the inaugural National Boarding Week the two groups came together at the midway point between schools for a clothing drive and gold coin fundraiser.
“This is an opportunity to show boarding is much bigger than any one school, that boarders are part of a bigger community,” said Ballarat Grammar director of boarding Chris van Styn.
“It creates awareness as well that being in boarding school is not just living in a bubble, but being part of a community and contributing to causes and other people not as fortunate.”
The meeting was a culmination of two key initiatives of National Boarding Week – a winter woollies drive and the Australia-wide Boarder’s Run Australia.
Each student had donated a gold coin to charity to be part of the Boarder’s Run and celebrate the fact there are about 230,000 boarders in Australia. If each boarder walks 1km they will have walked the circumference of Australia.
Students from both schools walked their 1km to the Lake Wendouree Olympic rings carrying winter woollies and blankets to donate to charity.
Ballarat Grammar students Laura Munn and Jack Salau, and St Patrick’s boys Harrison Hobbs and Osmond Green-King, inspected the impressive pile of donated goods before the Ballarat Grammar contingent took them back to their campus.
Mike Silcock, director of boarding at St Patrick’s College and chair of the Australian Boarding Schools Association Victoria, said there were about 450 boarding students at Ballarat schools.
“We recognise boarding is a privileged lifestyle and this is an opportunity to give back to the less fortunate,” he said.
“This inaugural National Boarding Week is a significant opportunity to celebrate being a boarder.”