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Every year, with the help of the Mission Guild, St Peter’s College students volunteer with Mary Mags Dinners. They run a weekly dinner service on a Saturday evening for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness here in Adelaide. It is opportunity for our Senior School students to prepare, serve and clean up meals in an environment of mutual respect, care and friendship.

St Peter’s College has a long-standing relationship with the Collective of St Mary Magdalene. In 1912, the School actually built the Mission Hall, where the Mary Mags Dinners are served today. The Mary Mags Dinners can trace their roots back to an Anglican Youth Conference in 1989. From this conference young volunteers emerged with a passionate desire to do something proactive about social justice in Adelaide. They began a sandwich kitchen that distributed food in Hurtle Square, and later the Saturday night dinner service in the Mission Hall, for homeless and marginalised people.

St Peter’s College, through the TocH Society, the IB Diploma CAS program, and now the School’s Service Learning Program have continued to keep this dinner service alive uninterrupted for over 20 years. The fact that many old scholars continue to serve and have also coordinated the program is testament to its success. The authentic and incredibly important service that this program provides to the marginalised patrons of Adelaide certainly creates a marked impression on all of the volunteers.

I’d like to acknowledge the boys who volunteered their Saturday night, on 20 August 20, to help at the Mary Mags Dinner: Bingqi An, Charlie Milne, Stewart Anderson, Ian Irwin, Maxwell Williams and Laurence Williams. Special appreciation also goes to Charlie, Laurence and Maxwell, for assisting with the shopping and cooking prior.

I’d also like to thank the Mission Guild for supporting this initiative, with particular thanks to Helen Williams and Jacqui Milne, for all their hard work in the lead up to and on the night. The food we served received incredible feedback and your clear direction and support helped to make the evening a great success and positive experience for all involved.

And to the incredible staff who supported this initiative on the night. Thank you for your time, commitment and contribution Paul Hadfield, Marcus Blackburn, Zac Savage and Jane Mackay.

The School will be volunteering for a second night at the Mary Mags Dinner later this year. If you are student over the age of 16 and are keen to be involved, please complete and submit an application form.

Antonia Mackay
Service Learning Program Coordinator