They understand that we're giving our time and efforts to try and
help and learn off each other
It's Philanthropy Week, which celebrates kind deeds and the people
who do them. Here are five philanthropic examples of people who have
used their TAFE-trained skills to do their bit to change the world.
In October 2013, Troy
Everett, Head Teacher of Building and Construction, Civil
Engineering, Surveying and Mapping at TAFE Illawarra volunteered his
time and skills to help with the construction of new toilets in a
remote Bangladesh village.
For a week and a half Troy and a small handful of colleagues did
back-breaking construction work in drenching humidity. Heavy downpours
kept flooding the building site. There were frequent power outages,
not to mention language barriers, food poisoning, a Monsoonal cyclone,
cold showers and even some massive open air dance parties and light
shows. For Troy and his colleagues it was all part of the Bangladeshi
experience. And their efforts didn't go unnoticed. "I can
sense the locals' appreciation of us coming here," Troy
wrote in his journal. "They understand that we're giving our
time and efforts to try and help and learn off each other. They know
we're choosing to be away from our loved ones and all the privileges
we'd usually enjoy."
(You can read more excerpts from Troy's journal here.)
A group of 20 nursing students in Cootamundra raised over $4,000 for
the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners. Although the fundraising effort was
part of the students' course work where they were assessed on their
ability to work together as a team towards a common goal, they threw
themselves into it with a passion and dedication that indicated a true
level of philanthropy was also at work, driving their efforts.
The students decided that the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners were a worthy
cause as they volunteer their services providing hay to
drought-stricken farmers and had no other form of funding behind them.
The students then organised a wood raffle, scoring five loads of wood
donated from various local sources.
In June 2015 a group of Skills for Employment and Education (SEE)
Program students at Mudgee TAFE raised $6,800 for the region's
homeless at an art auction.
With the help of TAFE Teacher Helen Doble, the group collected more
than 60 works from local artists to sell at a special event. These
students were themselves no strangers to the experience of
homelessness – their own first and second-hand experiences of sleeping
rough inspired their desire to launch a campaign to raise awareness of
this important issue.
The money raised by the art auction went directly to Mudgee's
Specialist Homeless Service for the purchase of 100 sleeping bags.
Some of the funds also assisted with emergency and temporary accommodation.
In March 2015, ophthalmic optics teacher at Randwick TAFE, James
Gibbins, and his son Daniel spent three weeks in some remote villages
on Fiji's northern island of Vanua Levu, donating high quality reading
glasses to the locals he thought needed them the most. The glasses
were made by Certificate
IV in Optical Dispensing students at Randwick TAFE.
Known as "the bearded barber", Stacey studied a seven-week
barbering course at Sydney TAFE so that he could give free haircuts
and beard trims to homeless men.
This was a far cry from his usual life as a corporate account
manager. "I just wanted to give back a little," he told the
ABC last year, when asked about his philanthropic mission. "My
mum had been volunteering for years. I have always liked hair and my
mates suggested it. I have learnt that the smallest things make a
change. The haircut's one thing, trimming a beard takes you 30
seconds... but they're cool guys, you know. It's just sad that people
don't see it that way sometimes. If they did, people would think very
differently about the homeless guy in the street."