Passion and faith have been the driving force for Mrs Colleen Boaden’s years of dedication to transforming and flourishing St Columba College from what was formerly a small primary school to what we know now as an R-12 College across three campuses.
Colleen’s ongoing support and dedication to the College was recognised at a dinner on Tuesday night provided by College Leaders and College Council. Members of the Parents & Friends Association (P&F) were invited to celebrate and recognise Colleen’s commitment to the College as a parent volunteer.
“We shared a lovely meal prepared by our wonderful Angie (Canteen Manager),” Colleen said.
“After the meal, the College Council Chairperson presented me with a gift… and a card with beautiful words.”
The P&F members presented Colleen with an arrangement of flowers in recognition of her service.
“The P&F members and I had a wonderful opportunity to not only share a meal but to enjoy an evening in great company and conversation… it was a really nice occasion,” she said.
The night was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Colleen’s achievements and dedication to the College through her volunteering and P&F commitments. Recognising her hard work and show of appreciation, the evening officially acknowledged her decision to step-down from the position of P&F Chairperson to a general member.
While her duties as a P&F member has decreased, her involvement within the College continues to remain strong.
“Being a volunteer at the College has provided me with the opportunity to work as an employee in the College’s Uniform Shop,” Colleen said.
“I initially volunteered in the shop for three months during 2011. A position was available and I was fortunate to take on the role permanently and be employed thanks to my understanding of the College and my years of support.”
Volunteering and supporting a school benefits everyone involved. St Columba College welcomes parental support and understands the important role parents and caregivers play in supporting students and the College.
It is estimated that 6.1 million Aussie adults volunteer a total of 713 million hours each year (Holbrook 2016) in various capacities. Volunteering not only benefits the volunteer but also makes a real difference to the students in developing an enjoyment of learning.
Like many active members of the P&F, Colleen has been a volunteer at the College for the duration of her child’s education and beyond. She has been volunteering her time
at the College for over 17 years.
Initially volunteering as a parent at the school when her daughter Emily commenced in Reception in 2001, Colleen took on the usual roles within the classroom from assisting with reading, cleaning and teacher support to making concert costumes and invigilating for exams. Her tireless service and commitment to providing teachers and students with support showcases her amazing amount of good being done simply by just wanting to give back and be involved in her child’s education.
Colleen’s commitment to the College parent body extended beyond the classroom by becoming a member of the College’s P&F in 2004. She undertook various roles from a general member to Fundraising Co-ordinator and then Chairperson - a position where she provided leadership, direction and support for members of the association.
For over three years Colleen was also a member of the College Council, representing the parent body and a voice to ensure the educational, spiritual and personal success of the students.
Her honest care for children, her enjoyment for helping others and her legitimate admiration and belief in the College and its vision is admirable. On what has been the driving force for her ongoing involvement in supporting the College, Colleen references to the fulfilment of “giving back to what is such a great College.”
“Knowing I was supporting my daughter and making things happen, that may not have happened if we did not have a P&F, makes me proud,” she said.
“In what I have fulfilled and gained from being a volunteer and a member of the P&F, I hope to see many other parents achieve by supporting staff and students towards a common goal - the success of our students.”
“Volunteering and being part of this wonderful community will show children the importance of parents being engaged in their child’s education and ultimately their future.”
Mrs Amanda Fryer Communications Officer
Hoolbrook, M 2016, Volunteering, ABC Behind the News, viewed 29 June 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s4452868.htm