STAFF at St Mary’s College raised their teacups to their colleagues across the globe recently in celebration of World Teachers’ Day and to raise funds for educational training in Tanzania.
On 30 October, St Mary’s staff held a special morning tea with the help of bestselling author Katherine Scholes to gather donations to support the sustainability of Tanzania’s educational system.
This was done via a scholarship program coordinated through the Christopher Strong Education Trust (CSET).
Ms Scholes – a Tasmanian resident, author and CSET patron – spoke to staff about her experience growing up in Tanzania and her role as an educator and author, before sharing her story and skills with students in a workshop.
Ms Scholes said she was delighted and honoured to be a patron of CSET and felt a deep bond with the country and its people.
She said she also knew Christopher Strong personally.
“We take access to education for granted in Australia,” she said.
“When you meet mothers who are weeping over school fees that cannot be paid and street kids who still hope to learn to read one day, you see that for many Tanzanians getting an education is just a dream.
“It’s not only a matter of being able to go to school, as many children are being taught in huge classes by under-skilled teachers with very few resources.
“The students are simply not getting the kind of education that will lead to real opportunities down the track and that’s where an organisation like CSET can make a such a difference.
“Good schools stand out like a beacon, pointing the way to what is possible – it is what every child deserves.”
St Mary’s College principal Tom Dorey said the school community had a strong focus on social justice and outreach programs.
“In addition to raising funds for CSET through Katherine’s visit, the College also supported ‘Wear Red for Daniel Day’ and CanTeen’s Bandanna Day,” he said.
“The Young Vinnies group also held a quiz night to raise funds for the St Vincent de Paul Christmas appeal.”
Ms Scholes is the author of international bestsellers The Rain Queen, Make Me An Idol, The Stone Angel, The Hunters Wife and The Lioness, as well as winning numerous awards for her work as a documentary filmmaker.