Leadership and Service

Abbotsleigh’s School for Girls Interact Club

Abbotsleigh’s Interact Club has long been a major attraction to our Year 10 and 11 students, enabling us to connect with our community and make positive differences locally, nationally and internationally.

As we took over the leadership of the club in early 2021, the effects of COVID-19 still negatively influenced the fund-raising capacity of our members. We did our best to start off with a bang and as leaders we had to think of ways to share the magic of Interact to attract Year 10 members. Some food seems to attract the teenagers these days and the sight of brownies at our table saw an influx of Year 10s to our stall and a record number of sign-ups! For us, it was incredible seeing so many students who were passionate about creating positive changes by extending their horizons beyond Abbotsleigh’s community and into the wide world.

The large numbers of girls involved in our club also gave us a strong start to 2021, as we were able to do so much more than we would have otherwise been capable of undertaking.

One of the incredible charities that we were able to continue to support last year was Ryder-Cheshire, for their work in Timor-Leste at Klibur Domin. We told our club that their purpose is for ‘the relief of suffering without discrimination’, and as we learnt of their valuable work in Timor-Leste supporting the vulnerable members of their community, we decided that it would be important to raise funds and awareness once again for their worthy cause.

Through our work at the beginning of the year, we managed to raise $500 to support Ryder-Cheshire. We are so grateful and inspired by the work that this organisation has done and continues to do, to support people in accessing the care they need.

To fundraise, we had to run a few events!

Our first major event for 2021 was holding an International Women’s Day ribbon event, where we gave the girls at our school a purple ribbon in exchange for a gold coin donation.

We also got out our pots and pans to sell homemade pumpkin soup and glowsticks at our school’s winter evening festival, ‘GLOW’, where we managed to run out in just under two hours!

The Interact Club students

We also managed to raise money at our cross-country carnival, selling ice-cream and soda ‘spiders’ to the girls at school, and they went down a treat! Although the second half of last year was disrupted by the lockdowns, we are grateful for all the things that we were able to achieve in the first 6 months!

As we hand over the reins of the club to the new 2022 committee, we are so grateful for all the things that we were able to accomplish through the help of our incredible patrons, the general members of our Interact Club and the generosity of our school community.

We hope that 2022 is even more prosperous and productive than last year, and that we will be able to do bigger and better things as we look forward to the future!

NOTE from Chris Hannan, President RCF NSW. Abbotsleigh School for Girls in Wahroonga, NSW accepted responsibility for a Raphael sponsorship way back in 1966 which they maintained until about eight years ago. At that point they requested a change to Timor-Leste. The Year 11 students take on leadership roles in various areas of their school life and one of these is the Interact Club which is a junior arm of Rotary. It encourages leadership and service. The students raise funds for several charities during the year.

Marg Selby and Interact Club students

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