Genazzano celebrates partnership with the Sisterhood of St Vincent’s Hospital Foundation

On Tuesday 15 March, Genazzano FCJ College welcomed back alumnae, Sarah Kennedy and Rebecca Martin to promote and celebrate an exciting collaboration between the Genazzano Institute and the Sisterhood of St Vincent’s – promoting women working in Health, Science, Engineering and Medicine.

The event, hosted by Rebecca MacFarling, Deputy Director of the St Vincent’s Foundation, was organised as a highlight of the Year 9 immersion program, exposing the students to career pathways in Health, Science, Engineering, Medicine and Philanthropy. The event stimulated important discussion about empowering women and removing the gender bias. The afternoon session was buzzing with enthusiasm as students worked in teams on real world projects to develop skills in planning, teamwork, promotion and fundraising.

Students heard from a number of guest speakers including Associate Professor Claudia Di Bella, Chloe Forster, Sarah Kennedy, Rebecca Martin and Rebecca MacFarling; and Year 11 student, Ariyana Farik, skilfully hosted a Question and Answer session to delve deeper into ideas around the importance of Philanthropy, the role of women and how students can be involved.

Associate Professor Di Bella shared some of her journey as an orthopaedic surgeon, the gender gap in medical professionals and encouraged students to pursue their passions regardless of whether there are female role models in the field.

Ms Forster spoke about the importance of volunteering to gain experience and to give; and the joy she receives from her role in events and supporting health and the community.

Genazzano Alumna, Sarah Kennedy (1989) is the founder of the Sisterhood of St Vincent’s.  She spoke about the values she learnt at school, the power of women to make a difference and why she was inspired to support the hospital. 

Alumna, Rebecca Martin (1998) spoke about her time at Genazzano and subsequent career path through to her work as Events Manager at the St Vincent’s Foundation. She presented the exciting work of the AMCD (currently in development) and the need for fundraising.

The partnership aligns strongly with the College’s Strategic Plan which promotes active learning and teaching and puts learners at the centre of their studies. At Genazzano, we believe all students can make a difference in the world they live in and encourage social responsibility and finding opportunities to build on their strengths and talents.

Principal, Mrs Loretta Wholley, commented on the partnership and importance of learning for this third millennium.

“Learning in 2022 is very different from what it was 10 years ago, even two years ago. We need to continue to provide exciting options for students to expand their knowledge outside the traditional classroom model”, she said.

“Providing these sorts of opportunities for girls now, enables them to make informed choices about the electives they study in their senior years at school and the career paths are available to them. And who better to share these opportunities than previous Gen Girls”.

Students thoroughly enjoyed the day and the chance to immerse themselves in different topics.

“Today’s activities have given me a new perspective into philanthropy as it has demonstrated easy ways for me to contribute to society, such as volunteering”.

“I was someone who thought I couldn’t do anything because I didn’t have money to donate and the like; but I’ve found out how I can be philanthropic as a Year 9 student and how to progress if I want to go into a career that involves helping others”.

“This has given me an insight into the true efforts of those who plan philanthropic events and what it really means to be a ‘philanthropist’. The work of St Vincent’s is revolutionary and has encouraged me to get involved where I can and to lend my time to a worthy cause. If I pursue a career in medicine, there were so many influential women here who have inspired me”.

Volunteering, pursuing a career in STEM, planning a charity event, teamwork, collaboration, communication, budgeting, website development, innovative bioprinting pens and giving back to the community, were just some of the highlights Year 9 students shared when asked what they learnt from the day.

Following the completed project work, students have the opportunity to earn a microcredential in Philanthropy, showcasing their knowledge and skills. The College launched its microcredential program in 2020 winning an Innovative Schools Award for the initiative. Now two years in, the program is going from strength to strength with short courses and badges available for learners from Year 9 upwards in various interest areas,

The program promotes and recognises a range of learning experiences, enabling students to create a professional, digital folio or virtual CV, showcasing their learning experiences, competencies, qualifications and credentials.

Students are certainly embracing the program too.

“I believe a microcredential program can enrich learning by opening up the malleable minds of teenagers and reshaping them into adult minds. These programs help us think outside of the box and motivates us to work hard by showing us what’s at the end of the tunnel. This develops skills such as persistence, ambition and equality”.

The Sisterhood of St Vincent’s is a network of dedicated women supporting women’s health issues and women in health, science and engineering. The St Vincent’s Foundation raises funds to support the vital work of all the St Vincent’s hospitals and health services in Victoria.

The Genazzano Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences has established a position at the forefront of utilising neuroscientific research in school education to improve learning and teaching. The aim is to provide exceptional student and staff learning experiences by working with key partners to leverage advancements in the fields of neuroscience, education, psychology, environmental design, health and information technology.

Genazzano FCJ College is a Catholic Day and Boarding School in Kew offering a co-educational Early Learning Centre and all-girls environment from Prep to Year 12. It offers students a rounded education that prepares them to become resilient, adaptable and confident women.

Genazzano Alumnae, Sarah Kennedy and Rebecca Martin, promoting the work of the Sisterhood of St Vincent’s.
Q&A with Genazzano Student, Ariyana Wanigasekera Farik and Rebecca MacFarling from the St Vincent’s Foundation. 

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