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Within the word ‘brother’ is ‘other’. At Ignatius Park College, the concept of brotherhood encompasses the students. It is also extended to the wider community with service learning.

In service learning, students are challenged to expand their educational opportunities through tackling real-life problems in their community. Service learning provides students with meaningful experiences. Overall, it is a core aspect of schooling at Ignatius Park College. Service learning provides students with the ability to think globally and act locally. Plus, it also has a positive impact on the growth and development of the whole person. At Iggy Park, the school aims to use service learning to help develop responsible young men with a highly developed sense of social justice.

Recently, students at Ignatius Park College have raised much needed funds for the Townsville Drop In Centre. To assist the students in understanding why they are raising these funds, we offer them a homeless experience. For this, they spent one night ‘sleeping rough’ at school, eating only soup and sleeping on a hard floor. In fact, they get none of the usual comforts of their bedrooms.

Mr Patrick McMahon, the College’s Identity and Mission Coordinator for Faith in Service, explains: “The boys experience some of the challenges that homeless people may go through each day. Although it is only for one night, we hope that the students can garner an understanding for people who are homeless or vulnerable in our society and the challenges they face on a daily basis.”

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Additionally, each House at the College supports its own charity throughout the year. They do this through a range of activities and events to raise funds and awareness.

Iggy Park offers students a wide range of activities as part of service learning, including:

  • Reading with students from Holy Spirit School
  • Visiting and engaging with elderly residents at Brooklea Lifestyle Village
  • Townsville to Cairns Bike Ride to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer
  • Participating in the World’s Greatest Shave (raising over $27,000 this year)
  • Hit the Hill to raise awareness for Mental Health
  • Spending time playing games, making new friends and fostering right relationships at Townsville Community Learning Centre
  • Act as full-time carers for special needs children at a three day SONY Camp
  • The Senior students can formally guide the younger students as Peer mentors
  • Reef Guardians
  • Best Foot Forward – liberating the lives of women and girls through education

Overall, service learning is a vital part of educating the whole person. The ethos of serving others is a guiding principle of an education at Ignatius Park College.