Last Friday evening, in the midst of the big storm, a group of 14 students and two staff headed to Optus Stadium to join hundreds of students from other schools supporting the Anglicare WA School Sleep Out. The experience was designed to give the students a taste of what life is like as a homeless person in Perth, by camping out in the cold corridors of the stadium.
As part of the program, students had specific tasks to complete, such as submitting paperwork and queuing at the 'offices' for Centrelink and the Department of Housing, amongst others. At intervals during the night, students were woken and asked to 'move on' by officials. The initial high spirits of the evening quickly tapered down as the students experienced the frustration of not being able to get assistance easily, and not being able to settle for the night.
The St Mark's representatives were from the Year 11 cohort: Camille Teyssier, Abigail Shackleton, Michaela Watts, Grace De Pellegrin, Katie Marshall, Kasey Crockford, Madison Burton, Tea Edwards, Mia Forder, Corey Bartle, Alyssa Sadgrove, Maria Carter, Matthew Mower and Charlotte White. The students were outstanding representatives for the School and took the challenges to heart. They were accompanied by Mr John Simmons and Mr Scott Kendall, with Mr Steven Davies joining them for the first part of the evening.
In addition to gaining a new insight and empathy for those living rough, students from all schools raised funds to support Anglicare's Street Connect Bus. St Mark's was able to add $2,591 to the tally, which brought the overall total to more than $85,000!