‘Giving for a Better World’, Sammy

What impressed me about this lovely 16 year old, was the twinkle of passion within her eyes. She wants to make a difference and with her enthusiastic and caring nature, I can see it happening. Sammy Sutherland from Barwon Heads tells us about an exciting project that she was involved in ‘Giving for a Better World’ at her school, Geelong Grammar.


‘It was an 18 week program where a Year 10 worked with a Year 8. As Year 10s it gave us the opportunity to develop our leadership skills, to mentor and show we cared. I found my partner, Ella has a similar mindset, we both want to create change. We’ve become good friends, I just recently wrote to her at Timbertop.

‘Teams had to decide on a project that would make a difference. One group collected old towels to donate to a Geelong Animal Welfare Society. Another placed kindness cups around school, these would be filled with kind messages for others.

‘Ella and I chose to collect old phones. We liked that we were helping the environment by eliminating waste. We sent them to Mazuma www.mazumamobile.com.au and the money we raised we donated to our chosen charity, the Red Cross.

‘I went door knocking with a friend in March and we raised over $130 for @Red Cross. I like how our school makes it compulsory to help out in this way.

‘At the end of the year we reflected on what we had achieved from the ‘Giving for a Better World’ project in the form of presentations. Everyone agreed it was great to have made a difference, it made us feel good. The project was so successful, it is going to be run again this year.

‘I’m completing The International Baccalaureate program at school. It is a lot of work but worth it, it is a very different learning style. I’m a Surf Lifesaver Barwon Heads 13th Beach Surf Life Saving Club and I’m passionate about the ocean. I’d love to work in Marine Conservation one day.

‘I consider myself very lucky to have the education that I do, I want to use it to make a difference. I’m glad the message to help others is ingrained in us early. We watched a disturbing video the other day about the terrible plight of young African girls, this inspired me to want to help girls overseas. Another thing I am passionate about is reducing the effects of Global Warming, we could easily do this by changing our diets by reducing our meat intake.’

Bill Hallam, who helped design the ‘Giving for a Better World’ project explains ‘Here at our Institute of Positive Education we incorporate current research on well-being and the eudaimonic approach, which focuses on the meaning and happiness gained through the experience of giving back rather than the hedonic approach, which focusses more on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. We believe it is very important for the students to develop their human potential through self-expression in kind, caring and volunteering ways. Wellbeing is not so much a goal as a consequence of choosing to care.  We want to educate our students to be caring in their relationships and to value contribution to their community, thus ultimately making the world a better place for all. ‘