Geelong students to lead action in their community

Grade 6 students from Geelong’s Northern Bay College have secured funding for 22 child-led philanthropic projects for the Corio/Norlane area after pitching their ideas to a community panel this week.

Representatives from Corio Police, Communities That Care, Barwon Health, Give Where You Live Foundation, and Geelong Community Foundation were members of the panel.

A total of $5994.10 was distributed over the 22 projects based on the student’s grant applications, budget proposals, and pitch presentations.

Building a vegetable garden for elderly, rehabilitating local wildlife, and sharing local knowledge with new arrivals are just some of the community action project ideas that were presented.

The Kids as Catalyst pitch event was a vibrant mix of formal presentation, questions from the panel requiring impromptu answers, networking over brunch, communal dancing and social conversation – all skills the Kids Thrive program prepares the students for.

“There was not one bit of unsteadiness in the kids’ willingness to step up and take the lead. And it’s because this program is so organised they know exactly what they are doing. They could never have done this six months ago. The growth has been amazing. I get teary even thinking about it,” said Roslyn Livingston, Teacher Northern Bay College Wexford Campus.

The students will implement their projects over the next four weeks in partnership with local charities and community groups such as: Geelong Conservation Volunteers, Riverside Community House, Corio/Norlane Lions Club, Cherished Pets, Diversitat, Forever Friends Animal Rescue, Northern Salvation Army, Peace Bro Co, Headspace, MACS, Corio Sports Club, Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary, Back to Back Theatre, Anglicare, Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Food Talks, Cloverdale Community centre, Costa Aged Care Facility, Angair, and Friends of Eastern Otways.

“This program positions our school well in the community by including community audience, community organisation partners pitching with the students and the funding pitch panel being made up of community leaders and funders who can be immersed in witnessing the power of purpose in children’s learning,” said Fred Clarke, Principal, Northern Bay College.

Geelong Kids as Catalyst 2018 is supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services – Inclusive Communities program, Victorian Department of Education and Training, William Buckland Foundation, Helen McPherson Smith Trust, and Give Where You Live Foundation, Geelong Community Foundation.

Read more about our Kids as Catalyst program.