As a Presentation school, founded in the name of Nano Nagle, it follows that we encourage our school community to live her precepts in their daily lives.
Although she lived in the 18th Century, her message to her followers, that they should love each other and spend themselves for the poor, still resonates strongly with us today.
Community outreach has always been part of the St Mary’s College identity. Early in the school’s history, St Columba’s School was established within the College, to cater for penniless families, so that they too could access a solid education.
Today at St Mary’s, students are strongly encouraged to be aware of and alert to the needs of others. Our students respond rapidly to national and international emergencies with fundraising and prayer.
Through the Society of St Vincent de Paul, students are given many opportunities to reflect on the nature of society and to seek avenues in which they can be involved in practical ways. The senior Vinnies students are involved in the running of Buddy camps during the school holidays and in after school homework programs at a Government high school. The junior Vinnies students have just launched a warm winter woollies program for Term 2. There is a staff team which serves monthly on Loui’s Van, which distributes food and friendship to people around Hobart.
Over the years, we have had a number of favourite charities. We provide as much assistance as we can to the AK Shelter for Teenage Girls, which attracts low level government funding. Our students feel great sympathy for this service.We have also fundraised to enable Josie Young’s Children’s Foundation in Kenya to purchase a much needed bus, and provided generous funds to Canteen. For many years, have supported five children in the Presentation Missions in the Philippines, to help them gain an education and hopefully break the cycle of poverty.
In Year 12, students complete a course called ‘Community Service Learning’, which requires them to complete 30 hours of active service to others and to reflect on the nature and benefits of this service.
Of course, at grass roots level, all our students are encouraged daily to see beyond themselves and to be mindful of the needs and cares of others, as mirrored in the life of Nano Nagle.