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Podcast Transcript

Andrew:Thank you for your company once again. Look we’re at St Columban’s College. We’re having a little bit of a chat here, as you know, the young people to come up through the schooling systems, they’re our next generation and they can quite often be responsible for the future of our country. Somebody that’s doing something about it, Heather Depasquale, she is the business manager for St Columban’s College, and you’ve started an innovative programme, one of the first in this area.

Heather:That’s correct Andrew. Thanks again for having me on the show. St Columban’s did launch a bursary fund earlier this year, and the whole purpose behind that bursary fund is to make St Columban’s more accessible to those kids who may not otherwise afford to be able to come to the College.

Andrew:Yeah, and there can be a whole range of challenges that can be presented in front of parents that are thinking about their education for their children, and it’s generally always accepted that parents want the absolute best for their children, finances can be one of those challenges that they need to take into account. I recall you saying recently that somebody that came through a similar programme that wasn’t as formal as what you’re putting together now, resulted in an awesome success.

Heather:Yes, we had a fantastic success with a past student, who went on to be an Olympic gold medallists in the Rugby 7’s. So she was a recipient of a bursary that our past student body put together, and they were exceptionally proud to see her success, even years down the track, after she left the College, they were incredibly proud.

Andrew:To tell the community just how important, maybe the decision is around secondary college, and more so with St Columban’s College. What’s the culture that you see with this college, particularly around the students and the parents?

Heather:I think the best thing that I’ve observed in my time at the College is the strongest community that I’ve ever seen in my life. I think that’s typical of Caboolture in its broader sense but it is really amazing the amount of parents that get behind the College to facilitate support around the Saturday Sporting Programme that we run, to facilitate our Music Excellence Programme and support of the arts, but also who engage in their students’ learning and they really want to understand how it is that their kid can get the most opportunity from being at the College, and that happens via the various pathways that we’ve got and we get a lot of people who come in and they say “Wow, look at all that you can offer, this is just amazing.”

Andrew:And you mentioned Caboolture in a broader context, now you believe so much in Caboolture you’ve recently moved here.

Heather:I have indeed, I’ve also just joined the Rotary Club of Caboolture, so I am very passionate about giving back to the community, and I just love what I’ve seen at St Columban’s because there’s a lot of like minded people who do that.

Andrew:Well these you go, and Rotary is very, very active throughout Caboolture, in fact one of the studios at the radio station, in fact going right back to the radio station even coming about, was largely thanks to Rotary. Now funds, that’s exactly what they need. They need funds, and there’s quite a creative way to doing that for this year, can you take us through that?

Heather:So this year we’ve run an Art Union, or running an Art Union. Ticket sales for that close on the 20th of October. We’re actually raffling off a Toyota Yaris, which is an automatic, and the winner gets to choose their colour. Then there’s a $2,000 travel voucher for second prize, and then we’ve got four $250 debit cards for third through to sixth prizes.

Andrew:Yeah, and you can head to the St Columban’s College Facebook page, and if you look at a video there, there’s a bit of an Attenborough impersonation, it’s quite awesome and a lot of effort put in there, and I believe the colour upfront that people are sort of suggesting so far has been red. But they can get any colour, they can choose the look of the vehicle that they can drive out with.

Heather:That’s correct. So any of the current models that are supplied through Martin Jonkers, who has been very supportive in the College, and also this Art Union. He’ll be able to help you out with your colours, there’s blues, there’s yellows. Yeah so, I think red’s best though, so.

Andrew:Oh, that’s becoming a general consensus. Look thank you very much for your time with our listeners.

Heather:No worries. It’s been a pleasure, thank you Andrew.