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This term SPSC has piloted an after-school Respite Program which aims to support parents in our greater community who have a child living with a disability by giving them a well-deserved afternoon off. The children attending are supported by our senior students (their buddies), parents and staff at the School in a safe, warm and friendly environment that meets the children’s needs.

The Respite Program’s mission is to provide an authentic and relational Service Learning Program on school grounds which aims to promote personal growth for our students and benefits the wider community.

Four events have been held this term with positive results reflected in the feedback provided by families, students and parents involved in the program. Some feedback from participants as follows:

“I was so amazed by the genuine kindness and support and welcome I felt from your parents and students. It not only allowed me a couple of hours to myself, I had a lovely time engaging with the parents – something I do not get much chance to do being a full time working single mum of a child with additional needs. Charlotte had an absolute ball and chatted non-stop about her experience on the way home. Thank you again so much, and we both look forward to seeing you all again next week.”
– Julie, mother of Charlotte (age 10) who is attending the Respite Program

“The Pilot Respite Program has been an immensely rewarding experience that has challenged me in a range of unique ways. Following my involvement in last year’s Sony Children’s Holiday Camp Program, I have once again been fortunate enough to provide respite to parents of our guests, who work tirelessly to provide for their children. During the program we provide fun and enjoyable activities to our guests, and ensure they can thrive in a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment. Participating in this initiative has challenged my critical thinking and empathy skills which I will use in my academic, co-curricular, and service-related pursuits.”
– Aidan (Year 12 student)

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience provided by the Pilot Respite Program. It took me out of my comfort zone, as it was challenging and not something we can do every day. Seeing the benefits of this program, including making a new friend, and providing respite for their parents was a rewarding and humbling experience. I would recommend this program to any students or parents who love a challenge and experiencing something new.
– Zig (Year 11 student)

“It is difficult to be empathetic of other people’s everyday challenges when you have no direct experience. The respite care helps break down barriers and ignorance of our young SPSC men.”
– Andrew (parent volunteer)

Thank you to the following students involved for the enthusiastic, sensitive, caring and mature way in which you supported your buddies:

Year 12

  • Henry Colbourne
  • Wyl Godfrey
  • Aidan Eaton
  • Gunin Singhal
  • Ian Irwin
  • Aidan Hua
  • Bingqi An
  • Rayan Abou-Hamdan
  • Will Rozenbilds
  • Tommy McDonald

 Year 11

  • Olivier Bizot
  • Charlie Milne
  • Timothy Suyapto
  • Archie Bater
  • Henry Robertson
  • Edward Weeks
  • Zig Jonats
  • Thomas Walker
  • Arki Galantomos
  • Lachy Gallagher
  • Kevin Dinh

Thank you to the Year 11 parents who volunteered alongside your sons. And a final thank you to the generous contribution from the Mission Guild for supporting the trial of the Respite Program for Semester 1 2023.

We are looking forward to continuing to trial the program in Term 2.

If you are interested in learning more about the Respite Program please contact Ashleigh Day at

Ashleigh Day
Service Learning Program Coordinator