Students provide enduring support for St Vincent’s

26 Feb 2024

For almost 24 years, Students from St Columba's College in Essendon have remained dedicated to supporting St Vincent’s Hospital’s homeless services.

Each year, House groups run events and creative fundraising activities. In total, over $25,000 has been raised for Briar Terrace, and the Cottage.

Briar Terrace provides a gathering place, offering companionship and day security to around 140 men and women who are experiencing social isolation.

The Cottage is a terrace house with 6 beds, located opposite St Vincent’s Hospital. It provides a place for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to stay after they’ve undergone a procedure. Giving them a chance to recuperate and receive Hospital in the Home services.

Poppy Gallaugher, 2024 de lacy House Captain said she and her peers feel a sense of connection through supporting these vital services. “Often, these groups may have had no connection with one another prior, but through St Columba's College and in particular De Lacy House’s support for Briar Terrace, new relationships and bonds have been created, allowing students to recognise how fortunate they are and giving us the opportunity to give back to those less fortunate.”

PHOTO: L to R - Poppy Gallaugher (de Lacy House Captain) and Emy Augson (Cunningham House Captain).

The fundraising and awareness is student led. Liliana Condello, St Columba's College Instructional Leader and a former de Lacy House Leader, said activities have included a coin line, and students donating a gold coin to participate in the de Lacy Celebration lunch. “We are very focused on encouraging the students to give back, and to give from their substance not from their surplus. Students have prepared food and clothing hampers and handmade cards at Christmas.

Beyond raising funds, there is an emphasis on trying to expose the students to as many situations that link them to the Mary Aikenhead Ministry values of truth, compassion, hope and love.

Carmel Anile-Saade, Cunningham House Leader said, “The Cottage Manager, Stephen Abiuso, has spoken at House Assemblies. The year 8 and 9 students go into the city to learn about people who are homeless and their life stories and who sells the Big Issue.”

St Columba’s is one of four schools established by the Sisters of Charity of Australia. Drawing inspiration from the Sisters of Charity, Emy Augson, Cunningham House Captain, said, " As the 2024 Cunningham House Captain, I will strive to continue in the footsteps of Mary Aikenhead and her values, and respond to the call to mission with compassion and faith.”

PHOTO: L to R - Poppy Gallaugher (de Lacy House Captain), Meghan Price (Williams House Captain), Emy Augson (Cunningham House Captain), Mila Kordic (Cahill House Captain), Meg Carmichael (Cater House Captain), Matilda Jeffries (O'Brien House Captain) and Caitlin Rodgers (Bruton House Captain).


St Vincent's Foundation
Ground floor
Rear, 55 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065