Can you define resilience? Who has it and where does it come from?

Andrew’s* teacher describes him as ‘resilient.’ And it really is no wonder. Andrew’s dad was his source of strength and security. His safe place when there was a scary noise outside his window, or a big kid was mean at school. His playmate and co-conspirator on Saturday morning when his mum was cranky about the mess in his bedroom. He lost his dad to cancer four years ago when he was just seven years old.

It was a blow that broke his heart, but built his resilience. He worked hard, helped his mum where he could and made as few demands as possible, knowing that money was tight and his mum was struggling to pay his Catholic school fees in addition to all their other expenses.

Then in 2021, Andrew’s life took a drastic turn when his mum was involved in a workplace accident, leaving her with a spinal cord injury confining her to a wheelchair. She is not able to work and with no help from WorkCover or insurance, their financial situation became dire.

More resilience.

Now, on the cusp of high school, Andrew is clinging to his dreams and his passion for technology and robotics. He knows there is no money to go to the Catholic high school all his friends will attend. He is scared of having no friends, of not fitting in, of the financial expense that new uniforms and a laptop represents, even at a state school.

His mother sees him being brave and resilient and her heart breaks for her son. She reached out for help through an application for a Mary MacKillop Fund bursary, and wrote:
In the face of all the hard times we’ve gone through, Andrew’s dedication to his education and his family is awe-inspiring. He is honest, intelligent, and well spoken. He never stops helping me and wants to get ahead in life to make his dad proud and to support me.

Andrew’s mother holds onto the hope that a good education will help her son fulfil his dreams and thrive.

Education is not just about getting ahead; it’s a lifeline, a chance to turn dreams into reality.

This is how you can make a difference through the Mary MacKillop Fund. With your support, we can offer children like Andrew the opportunity to receive a Catholic education and be welcomed into a caring and nurturing community; where they can learn and develop as people of compassion, integrity, and faith.

You can make a tax-deductible gift to support the MacKillop Fund today. Your gift will give children and families in need the lifeline of a Catholic community.


*To protect their privacy, we do not use the names or images of our MacKillop students, but please know their stories and the impact you have in their lives are real.