The Brandsma House supported their charity, Avalon, on Friday 9 September through the Sleepout activity. This has been a tradition of the Brandsma House for nearly 10 years but unfortunately the last few years have had to be put on hold due to COVID. The rejuvenation of the night was instigated by the 2022 Captain of Brandsma, Shannon D’Souza. He rallied a group of 19 students that ranged rom Year 10 to Year 12 to brave the elements of the night in Chapel quadrangle (out the back of the chapel).
The rules of the night were that you had to sleep outside using a sleeping bag with either cardboard, a sleeping mat, or for the very brave, the concrete! Students from the whole of Brandsma have been donating clothes and other accessories throughout the last few weeks in support of the charity. This has included jackets, tracksuit pants, backpacks, sleeping bags, and brand new socks and jocks.
The students were able to watch a short SBS show, You Can’t Ask This for the Homeless. This set the mood for the night as the boys entered the outside elements. The weather turned at 2am in the morning to give the boys a taste of the challenges of sleeping out at night as the rain reminded us all of how important shelter and warmth is. The morning light greeted us at around 6am and we were lucky enough to have some of the Brandsma parents (Eileen and Michael Rooney, Greg Savy, Andy Richmond) cook up a classic breakfast of a bacon and egg roll. All food was donated kindly by the Brandsma parents. A special note to Marjie King and Michelle Scutella for their generous food donations. Mr Murphy, the school principal, kindly visited the boys at 6.30am!
In the end, our main purpose of the night was to raise awareness for our charity, Avalon. This is a non-profit charity that looks to assist those who have been forgotten, overlooked and left behind – the homeless. It is also the intention of the night to get our students to have a hint of the experience of sleeping out and not having the comforts of home. It is our hope that these boys and future students who do this event have a sense of purpose through this experience to continue to assist charities that support our most vulnerable in our community and that themselves may continue to be active in ways that they can make a positive difference in the world beyond Whitefriars.
A special thanks to Step Dekazos and Laurissa Parastatidis who assisted on the night. And finally, a huge thanks to the participants: Ayden Ikonomopoulos, Ben Carbone, Carter Prokop, Charlie Cant, Daniel Kilkenny, Darcy Phelan, Jack Heuston, Javan Mellor, Joel Savy, Lachie Manchee, Lachie Liam Rooney, Matt Marek, Nathan Hugo, Phil Deane, Shannon D’Souza, Tony Tragas, Will Richmond, Dean Morgan, and Matt King.
House Leader – Brandsma