As is the case with many fundraising initiatives at Canberra Girls Grammar School, strong ties through personal experience and connection often determine the charity each House choose to support.
One such example is Deakin House’s ongoing support of The Shepherd Centre Canberra - an organisation which aims to enable children who are deaf and hearing-impaired to develop spoken language so they may fully participate in the world, and in doing so, reach their full potential.
Year 11 student and proud Deakin-ite, Stephanie Jones has been hearing impaired since infancy and was one of the first children to be taken into Canberra’s branch of The Shepherd Centre in 2001. It’s no wonder she is keen to help her House-mates give back to the centre. Stephanie also contributed many of her community service hours in Year 10 to The Shepherd Centre and is doing what she can to tie her International Baccalaureate Creativity, Action & Service (CAS) project into supporting this cause.
Outcomes show that 90% of children who graduate from The Shepherd Centre enter mainstream schooling, the vast majority with speech and language skills on par with their typically hearing classmates. Stephanie is a shining example of what is possible - she is one of the School’s top debaters and public speakers and just this week she helped coach the Year 9 debating team to a win again CGS in the traditional Kitchen and Tyrell debate.
With her outstanding speaking skills, Stephanie hopes to take her career in a direction which will combine two of her passions.
“Probably, ideally - science communication. In my work experience I was at Questacon and I was explaining science to kids and it was awesome,” said Stephanie.
“It’s really cool when you watch them and they understand something they didn’t get before. It’s really exciting!”
Deakin’s fundraiser for The Shepherd Centre Canberra was held on Thursday, 18 May in the Senior School quad. As usual, queues formed for sausage sizzles, sweet treats and snacks. A highlight was seeing Year 8 students using the new built-in BBQs (thank you P&F!) to cook up amazing pancakes!
Photo above: Zoe Blackmore (Year 11) with Stephanie Jones at the Deakin fundraiser market stall for The Shepherd Centre Canberra.