Published on November 24, 2021

Service learning is an integral feature of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) at HVGS. Our goal is for students to see themselves as global citizens and to understand and acknowledge the impact that offering their time to serve, has on others.

students cooking in kitchen


At HVGS, service learning allows students to identify their own strengths and areas for growth while enhancing the common good. It also supports them to recognise the skills of working collaboratively, to engage with issues of global significance and consider the ethics of choices and actions.

In Year 8, students work within their Mentor groups on a rotation of activities to learn about asylum seekers in Australia and across the world. As part of their Service in Action unit students complete four rotations, one of which includes cooking and preparing meal packs for the Feast for Freedom. These meal packs are then sold to parents and staff to fundraise for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).

What is the Feast for Freedom? 

The Feast for Freedom is an annual event coordinated by the ASRC. Like the Biggest Morning Tea, people are encouraged to register their business or group and fundraise to raise awareness for the challenges asylum seekers face in Australia. HVGS adapted the program with the support of the ASRC, to develop our own fundraiser. 

Students were provided with a variety of traditional recipes from countries where asylum seekers come from and started cooking their recipes. Barrington cooked Sri Lankan cuisine; Watagan enjoyed Indian cooking; Liverpool created an East African feast, and Gloucester loved Lebanese.


How Fundraising helps asylum seekers in Australia.


What is the outcome of the initiative? 

The Feast for Freedom initiative offers students critical insights into the lives of asylum seekers. It allows them to reflect on the lives of those without the same access to education or who do not live in safe societies like Australia. 

The Feast for Freedom helps students appreciate what they have in Australia and facilitates empathy and compassion for others. The knowledge that students have made a difference in someone’s life ultimately moves us towards a better future for Australia.

When COVID-19 put the brakes on the Feast for Freedom Program at school, Alex Rees (Year 8) got busy in the kitchen at home. Through lockdown he made baked goods, selling them to friends and family to fundraise for the Feast for Freedom initiative and raised $332 for the cause.