Schools Throw Support Behind Women

The Sisters of Mercy, who began our service almost three decades ago, also have a long history as educators in Australia. Many of the schools, founded by the Mercy Sisters, remain great supporters of McAuley Community Services for Women. Several other independent and state schools are also committed to supporting our work and we thank all the teachers and students involved. Some of the schools have great projects in the pipeline.

Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg

Our Lady of Mercy students are planning events to raise awareness about Youth Homelessness in the coming weeks and at the same time will raise funds to support the women at McAuley House. Using funds contributed from the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation, a team of committed girls is planning a Mother’s Day Raffle, a ‘Wear your PJs to school’ day and importantly, an awareness campaign around youth, and in particular women’s, homelessness. Their efforts will culminate in a community fundraising breakfast held at the school, which will involve guest speakers.

Four Year Nine Our Lady of Mercy girls have also been visiting McAuley House every week as part of their community service program.

The girls hope to create a promotional video about their experience raising funds and awareness for McAuley Community Services for Women that can then be presented to other schools to encourage them to get involved with us.

Padua College, Mornington

After our CEO Jocelyn Bignold and other staff gave a presentation to Padua College teachers in December, the school was keen to work with us to raise awareness and understanding of the issues particularly around family violence. The school’s ‘Mercy House’ decided it was a good fit for them to focus their fundraising efforts for 2015 .

Edmund Rice Schools

As part of their Leadership Development Program, senior staff from five schools visited McAuley House and spent time with the women, shared a meal and volunteered their time.

Catholic Regional College- Melton

McAuley Community Services for Women will be a focus during the school’s Celebration Day event. We will have an information table to inform students about our work and they will use the day to raise money for our services.

Melbourne Girls Grammar

The student executive council at the school has selected McAuley Community Services for Women to be the recipients of their fundraising efforts for 2015. This will not only provide much needed funds to support women and children escaping family violence, but will also ensure that the message continues to spread- violence against women is a crime that is unacceptable and it is everyone's responsibility to stand up and speak out against it.

Following this decision by school leaders the girls have not wasted any time. They have visited McAuley House, raised money from a movie night and invited our Community Engagement Worker, Angela Wood, to talk about our work at their International Women’s Day Assembly, along with other leading women.  Angela explained how the work undertaken today at McAuley Community Services for Women continues the mission started so long ago by Catherine McAuley, the woman who founded the Sisters of Mercy. Angela encouraged the girls to continue striving for social justice. Another panelist, Catherine Walter, awarded an Order of Australia for her work as a business leader, encouraged each girl to aim high and not hold themselves back. Sara James an accomplished journalist for NBC and the ABC highlighted the importance of women never being afraid to take calculated risks with their careers.

Caption: Catherine Walter, Angela Wood and Sara James.