Sitting in her classroom, Vanessa’s* eyes light up and a huge grin spreads over her face. Mr Brian Eastaughffe is principal of Clairvaux MacKillop College on Brisbane’s southside and loves seeing this expression. He explains: “It’s the moment she finally understands what her teacher has been explaining. You can almost feel her confidence swell.
“As an educator, you cheer on every child, but when they have experienced a disadvantaged background, these moments mean just a little bit more.”
Vanessa’s positive experience is just one example of the vital work of the Mary MacKillop Catholic School Access Fund. The MacKillop Fund is a unique bursary program that supports families experiencing extreme circumstances. Some are refugees and others are coping with a major loss, illness or family breakdown.
Having witnessed first-hand the life-changing benefit of the MacKillop Fund, Mr Eastaughffe believes the fund reflects our core mission as a Catholic organisation and reminds us that supporting vulnerable children is an essential part of who we are. “New buildings and the latest equipment are wonderful, but seeing a vulnerable child realise their potential is one of the most powerful things in the world,” said Brian Eastaughffe.
In 2018, five students (who were the first to receive a MacKillop bursary in 2014) will graduate high school. This wouldn’t have been possible without your support!
The Fund is named in honour of Australia’s first saint who committed her life to give children in need a quality Catholic education – the Fund continues her legacy. With your help, more students will be given the opportunity to achieve their unique potential through the gift of Catholic education.
* We’ve changed Vanessa’s name to protect her privacy, but please know that her story is real. Photos of actual bursary recipients are not used as their identities are kept in confidence.