On Tuesday 15 March, Genazzano FCJ College welcomed back alumnae Sarah Kennedy, founder of the Sisterhood of St Vincent’s, and Rebecca Martin, St Vincent’s Foundation Events Manager, 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 designed to provide an overview for students towards career pathways in health, science, engineering, medicine and philanthropy. The event stimulated important discussion about empowering women and removing the gender bias.
Students heard from a number of guest speakers including St Vincent’s Foundation staff, Associate Professor Claudia Di Bella and Year 11 student, Ariyana Farik. She 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.
The afternoon session saw enthusiastic students work in teams on real world projects to develop skills in planning, teamwork, promotion and fundraising.
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.
Sarah Kennedy 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.
Rebecca Martin 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.
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.
“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. 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.
“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.”