The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

From the Head of Junior School

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, said, 'Things don't have to change the world to be important.' Social responsibility is driven by a sense of responsibility and compassion, and aim to make other people's lives better.

Ryan Hreljac lives in Canada. When he was six years old, he learned about the devastating consequences that people faced in countries where there was poor sanitation and no access to fresh, clean water. Although he was very young, he felt so strongly about it that he wanted to help tackle the problem. At first, Ryan set about doing extra chores to earn money. Later, he started participating in public speaking events with the aim of raising the $2,000 needed for his first well in northern Uganda. Three years later, the Ryan's Well Foundation was born.

Today, over 992 communities have clean water due to this project and 1,153 toilets have been completed in 16 countries. The Foundation has saved lives by reducing the risk of disease and given more than a million vulnerable people the prospect of a brighter future.

Eight years ago, Cassidy Strickland saw a homeless man rummaging in a bin for food near her house in the Hawkesbury region, NSW. She thought, 'How can anyone be that hungry?'

She told her mum she wanted to do something to help other people in the same situation, so that weekend they made soup and served it to homeless people in their local park. That first day there were only five people there. The following weekend they did the same - and word had spread.

Making the venture official, Cassidy set up Hawkesbury's Helping Hands, a charity that provides meals to the area's homeless and disadvantaged. At first, Cassidy's family bought everything and cooked it - soups, salads, roast dinners. Then some cafes and restaurants started donating food and people began to donate money. Today, the charity feeds around 65 people every weekend, and provides hot meals, takeaway lunch boxes, sleeping equipment and toiletries. The charity has provided 100,000 meals since it started in 2011.

At Scotch, we try to make a difference in the lives of others. We undertake acts of service that benefit others. Recently we had the 'walk for water' around Lake Claremont that helped fund the drilling of wells in Africa. Our Year 3 classes provided a French morning tea for residents of a home for disabled adults and created their lovely Love Angels cards that supported the Ubud Birthing Centre in Bali. Our Year 5 Semester 1 Captains worked with leaders from the Senior School to make sandwiches for homeless people in Perth, and most recently boys from our Senior School and girls from PLC travelled to Tanzania as part of the college's overseas service tour assisting in the village of Matipwili.

Service is in our nature here at Scotch College. On Friday, we recognised our Junior School Class Representatives and Year 5 Semester 2 Captains. Young men who have asked to serve their school community.

Ryan and Cassidy are courageous, caring and compassionate leaders. Leaders who led by example who do the right thing. By the example they set, they have been successful in getting others to follow. As with the students of Scotch College, their actions have made a difference.

Mr John Stewart
Head of Junior School