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St Vincent de Paul Student Conference 2016

St. Vincent De Paul Student Conference

The St. Vincent De Paul Student Conference  - 4th May – was a great opportunity for several schools across Melbourne to gather together to focus on being “ The Light in the Darkness”. The theme promotes positive action using our own skills to help bring about a better world for others. Hence be their “light” in times of misery and darkness. 
One of the highlights of the day was a speaker by the name of Simon Lewis. He is a Melbourne surf life saver who wanted to do something that would benefit someone else. He raised $22,000, flew to Lesbos in Greece, and was assisting with the Syrian refugee crisis. He became a Humanitarian Life guard, helping rescue refugees arriving from Turkey. He was inspirational but also very thought provoking. 
We also heard from a woman sharing her story of arriving in Australia as a refugee and the obstacles her and her mother faced. She had to travel very long distances on foot to go to school and her mother worked illegally just to get food for them. This made some of us realise how fortunate we are to live in a safe and well developed country and how often we take things for granted.
St. Vincent De Paul also run a tutoring program where students of any age can receive assistance with school work, language difficulties, religious and cultural support and also help with any aspect of adjusting to a new country. They provide an environment where the students find comfort and fun.
Another highlight of the day was having lunch at Lentil As Anything at the Abbotsford Convent Gallery gardens. The food is prepared and served by volunteers and is totally delicious vegan food. 
The following is printed on their menu.
“ At Lentil, we believe in the power of humanity to create stupendous change and that everyone deserves a place at the table. There are no prices on our menus. Our food is not free but you are. At Lentil you are free to contribute what you think your meal is worth, to continue a movement that values the diner over the dollar.”

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