Chrysalis Steiner students fundraise for Arnhem Land community projects and tour

Class 10 students at Chrysalis Steiner School working at their car wash with the help of the Bellingen Fire Brigade.

AN upcoming educational and service-oriented trip to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory is honing the fundraising skills of the Class 10 students at Chrysalis Steiner School in the Thora Valley

On Saturday 15 April the students will be hosting a stall at the Bellingen Markets where they will be selling a range of handmade items including chai and cake.

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The students are excited to meet the community at their fundraising events where they’re telling everyone about their trip north and its purpose.

The Class 10 students will be travelling to the Northern Territory in May 2023 for approximately three weeks.

While a portion of the funds raised will contribute towards reducing the cost of airfares and travel expenses, more importantly the rest of the funds will be put toward developing community projects in Arnhem Land.

The students will be staying on community and learning traditional ways of living.

Chrysalis students will be visiting the town of Gunbalanya and have been liaising closely with Elders of the community for projects they would like to be developed.

Currently, the students are looking at fixing up past-Elder Jacob Nayinggul’s home.

Watch ‘Etched in Bone’, a Ronin Film, for context on how important his contributions have been for the community of Gunbalanya.

Other plans in the pipeline include possibly spending time working in the local school and potentially planting some fruit trees in a small orchard at Mikginj Valley.

“This is a rare opportunity for our students to gain an unwavering appreciation of Aboriginal culture and to give back in a profound, meaningful and respectful manner,” student parent Leonie Ivey told News Of The Area.

The students have been raising funds since the beginning of their Class 9 journey in 2022.

One way was producing products in Food Technology which they sold at Chrysalis’ 40th Anniversary in November last year, along with an online auction where the big-ticket item was an original piece of Aboriginal art that is still in production from the Gunbalanya community.

In 2023, it was time to come up with some additional ways to raise money starting with the old school car wash.
“The car wash was a very successful day and the students ended up raising $1,052.00,” said Leonie.

“This would not have been possible without the go ahead from the Bellingen Council and the assistance of the Bellingen Fire Brigade who hooked up a hose at the Bellingen High School car park providing water for the Class 10 car wash crew.”

Class 10 would also like to acknowledge businesses that made generous donations which helped make the day such a success: The Providore North Bellingen, Thorns Butchers, Bellingen IGA and the Swiss Patisserie Bellingen.

“As it was such a great day, we are in the planning stages for another car wash in mid-April and will hopefully have final planning and approval soon.

“Keep your eyes out for further information and signage and come join us to get your car washed and enjoy a sausage while you wait.”

In further fundraising, the students held an Easter Raffle, tickets were sold outside Bellingen IGA on Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April, as well as support from Windsong Travel Bellingen until Thursday April 6 when the raffle was drawn.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Class 10’s Arnhem Land journey please deposit at the Bellingen BCU branch to the Chrysalis School account or transfer electronically to BSB 533-000, Account # 32853105 with reference ‘Arnhem Land’.

“Each dollar raised goes towards one more project they are able to donate to the Arnhem Land community,” said Leonie.

“The Chrysalis Steiner School recognises anthroposophy as being the wellspring from which Steiner education springs,” the Class 10 teachers told NOTA.

“The school holds community, respect, best practice and professionalism as being key to their ethical values; as well as fairness and due process, collaboration and operating out of consensus in the appropriate school forums.”


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