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

Service during COVID-19

There has been significant discussion and planning amongst staff and students about the operation of our service programmes during the current COVID-19 situation . There are clearly limitations to what we can do and when we can restart the Year 10 programme and, unfortunately, we will be unable to visit many of the organisations and facilities with whom we have forged long-term relationships. However, with change comes opportunity.  

In the short-term, we are likely to be offering more campus-based experiences in the Year 10 programme, while our Senior Leaders are investigating how we can support another important cause. More information about that will follow  in the near future .


In another context, Mr Michael Scaife recently shared some initiatives the College is looking to implement, following the India tour last December. While some are still very much in the formative stages, the opportunity for our students to further develop our relationship with the Mukti Mission is exciting.

While in India, the boys spent a week living at one of the schools, where they interacted with the students and taught classes in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and English. This was an incredible privilege for our students, which they approached with enthusiasm and responsibility. While teaching others, they also learnt a great deal about themselves and about how others learn. The boys took the time to reflect on their own lives and on how they could help other less fortunate students with the conditions and some of the circumstances in which they live.  

The students experienced both challenges and rewards as they utilised their IT knowledge while working with Dr Nick Spadaccini to establish computer labs that had sat idle because the staff at the school had been unable to set them up.

In reflecting on the conversation with Mr Scaife,  it is clear that two of our core values were central to the tour and the manner in which our students approached it:  

Service: acts of helpful activity; assistance and support; to do someone service.  
Stewardship: using talents, abilities and resources in a responsible and  honourable  manner.  

These values are embodied in many of our day-to-day actions and it is incumbent on all of us to reflect on them and how they guide us as we go about our lives.   

While the next service tour to India is not scheduled until late 2021, and may still be impacted upon by COVID-19, the College is investigating other ways to help the students and staff at the Mukti schools. Our recent online experiences have highlighted new prospects, in terms of our ability to interact with each other, and the work undertaken on the tour in setting up the IT labs has laid the foundation for us to reconnect and provide further learning opportunities for our own students and those in India.