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3 - Tuesday, June 23, 2015
ST VINNIES SLEEPOUT
Cardboard box they called home
Saint John John Paul II College students Logan Macmahon, Codie Haycraft, Taylah McCluskey and
Luka Jadric prepare to sleep rough.
Photo: Graham Tidy
It wasn t only business leaders who
are bracing for a wet St Vinnies
CEO sleepout this year.
Armed with cardboard boxes and
sleeping bags, a group of 110 Saint
John John Paul II College students
and 15 teachers got a taste of the
realities of sleeping rough in the
name of fundraising last Thursday.
The event was first organised last
year by the school s Mini Vinnies
committee to support principal
Catherine Rey at her first CEO
sleepout and add their fundraising
dollars to her total.
The student-led sleepout was so
popular that, in its second year,
close to double the numbers elected
to take part, co-ordinator Liam
"Last year we had 50 students
and this year we have 115," he said.
"We aim for each child to collect
$30 but our top student this year has
raised more than $800 singularly in
the last few weeks which has been
Students were tasked with
co-ordinating activities on the
evening, collecting the necessary
numbers of cardboard boxes and
preparing for the hot breakfast
community cookup to warm
everyone up for the school day on
"The challenge is not just
through the night," Mr Stakelum
"Part of the experience is having
to function the next day."
Along with co-ordinating
practical elements, Mr Stakelum
said making time for some quiet
reflection was an essential
component for each student.
"They get a real harsh sense of
the reality of what a lot of people
have to go through," he said.
"It s much stronger than just
fundraising and sending the money
off, they get to empathise."
Year 8 student Codie Haycraft,
13, said she created a strategy to
keep warm due to incessant rain
before the sleepout.
"It s all about layers - leggings,
tracksuit pants, a jumper, onesie
and beanie and gloves all on," she
Codie wasn t the only student
with nerves ahead of the sleepout,
many of her peers dreamed up
creative ways to fortify their
makeshift cardboard shelters in the
"It is what lots of people have to
do in our community every night,"
"It gives us a better
understanding and I think it s good
we have to go to school because
that s what people have to do in
DANCE BREAK Canberra graduate to support Janet Jackson
By Kimberley Le Lievre
Former Canberran Alexandra
Carson has been selected to dance
with Janet Jackson as part of an
impending world tour.
After a gruelling selection
process in Los Angeles, the New
Zealand-based dancer was chosen
to be part of the action.
The 22-year-old is hosting a
crowd-funding campaign to raise
$8000 for a visa so she can travel
with the superstar.
I m super-excited but also
really anxious about this whole visa
situation. It s an amazing
opportunity. Something I ve
definitely worked my whole life
for, I m just over the moon really.
Canberra s Dance Central
director Julie Scheer has pledged
money to help Carson, a former
student and teacher at the dance
school, realise her dream.
Everyone here aspires to this
and they dream of this, and when it
happens it s so surreal, she said.
Dreams really do come true.
To donate, visit https:/
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