Following the success
of the MacKillop Café Project in 2018, students at MacKillop Education Geelong
went mobile and established a pop-up soup kitchen to give back to the
This year, a 2019
graduate of our MacKillop Education School received the Victorian Certificate
of Applied Learning (VCAL) Achievement Award for Foundation Personal
Development Skills for her involvement and outstanding contribution to the
school’s Pop-up Soup Kitchen Project.
Presented by the
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), the VCAL Achievement
Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of young people that embody
living examples of excellence in applied learning through projects of value to
the local community or demonstrated personal growth in leadership.
The inspiration for the
pop-up soup kitchen came from an excursion to the Bellarine Living and Learning
Centre, where students had the opportunity to listen and hear stories from
volunteers about supporting the homeless and those in need of food.
The project was
designed by teachers and staff at MacKillop Education to help students develop
skills in planning, teamwork and organisation, and to encourage them to
creatively problem solve and to incorporate hands-on practical learning
experiences. What’s more, the concept of ‘giving back’ offered opportunities
for students to discover their own moral and ethical values.
learning in preparation, students participated in a soup-making master class
with Chef Belle at the Northern Bay Trade Training Centre. They wrote letters
to local supermarkets and bakeries for donations, and were integral in
planning, advertising and making soup for the community.
The students connected
with regional food assistance and relief initiative, Feed Geelong, to deepen
their understanding of those in need, and chose to provide further relief by
donating the money raised from the Soup Kitchen to feed the homeless and most
vulnerable in the Geelong region.
The pop-up soup kitchen
at the Bellarine Living and Learning Centre was a huge success and students fed
over 70 people from the local community in need of a hot meal.
Bethany* from Bellarine
Living and Learning Centre comments: “Today was a roaring success.”
“We have loved working
with [MacKillop] all this year and can’t thank [them] enough for the input you
have had into the Whittington community.”
Throughout the project,
three students, including our recipient of the VCAL Achievement Award,
demonstrated excellent teamwork, leadership skills and an intuitive sense of
social justice. They encouraged other students to stay focused, work hard and
to do their bit to contribute. They also connected with local community members
and ensured that everyone who attended the pop-up kitchen had a bowl of soup, a
toastie and a hot drink - creating an overall space for social connection and
“Each of [the students]
have touched our lives and those within the community. Well done on a job above
and beyond expectations, you blew us all away!” remarks Bethany.
MacKillop’s VCAL Program supports young people from 12-18 years, living at home or in
out-of-home care, in the Geelong and surrounding areas, who are disengaged or
at risk of disengaging from education. The curriculum and learning activities
at Mackillop School Geelong are thoughtfully planned, with the integration of social and emotional learning in all activities.