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In the clear with Staines removal

Daniel Bouwmeester    October 12, 2022    2 min read   

A team of secondary students has been going out on field trips to help older Springfield residents keep up with their cumbersome yards and driveways.

Educators at Staines Memorial College in Redbank Plains coordinate what they call the “Blokes Squad” – a group of students that aims to improve teamwork and leadership skills through physical charitable activity.

Chaplain Peter Jenyns, who has served at the school since 2010, runs the voluntary excursions at least once a term for students in Years 9 and up, assisting residents who have limited capability.

“We go out on a Friday afternoon [and] spend the second half of the day working through people’s yards, mulching and mowing.”

He said it helps the boys gain an appreciation for public service, a core principle of the school’s broad development program.

“We want to teach service, and make that part of our culture. It\’s one of the core values of the school, and this project is an expression of that.\”

Experienced students can then take charge by mentoring their younger peers and leading other school group activities.

He is open to visiting new homes so long as it is a big enough job suitable for a group of students, and that the residents are truly in need, he said.

Image: Staines Memorial College.

The relatively large properties common through Greater Springfield, particularly Camira, are perfect for the activity, Mr Jenyns explained.

Camira resident June Johnson, who struggles to maintain her long two-acre property, praised the school’s support.

“Five students [came] to my home today to do a working bee in the gardens and driveways. [They] worked hard to clear my driveway, drains, and much mud and debris. It was a terrible discouraging mess beforehand.”

June said that Mr Jenyns practises what he preaches. “He gets in and does what he expects the boys to do too. He gets pretty dirty when he is here working!”

She quoted Princess Diana to illustrate the goodness of charity: “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

Staines Memorial College is a non-denominational Christian College located in Redbank Plains, Ipswich, offering a Christian school culture and educational experience for students from kindergarten to Year 12.

For all enquiries, visit the website at www.staines.qld.edu.au or call 3814 8600.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.