Term 4, Issue 1 - Bronwyn | Siena College
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St Mary's House of Welcome

“Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. … The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.” Pope Francis

In Term 4 at Siena, the hearts and minds of our College community turn towards the community at St Mary’s House of Welcome. St Mary’s is a not for profit centre in Fitzroy providing basic essential services to people who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, severe mental health issues and those members of society who are isolated and socially marginalised.

The service was opened in 1960 by the Daughters of Charity and today, each day, serves approximately two hundred people. In addition to food, St Mary’s House of Welcome provides showers to Melburnians sleeping rough, laundry facilities, and referral services to health and other welfare services. St Mary’s House of Welcome aspires to treat each individual with respect, to foster relationships, and be a beacon of hopefulness in a challenging and lonely world.

Unsurprisingly, 2020 has placed additional burdens on the staff of St Mary’s and on those who are accessing their services. As such, and in line with COVID regulations, St Mary’s have indicated that the greatest need they have this Christmas is donations of food. St Mary’s will combine donations to create food hampers for families in need. Based on the requests for food, each year level has been allocated pantry staples to donate. All students are asked to contribute to the collection of groceries which will be coordinated by House Group teachers. Donations will be collected by St Mary’s in Week 9. Donations need to be finalised by week 8 of term. Thank you in anticipation for your generosity.

Donations per year level:

Year 7

Small tins of tuna and chicken


Milo/flavoured milk powder/hot chocolate

Year 8

Long life milk (including long life flavoured milk)

Sweet Biscuits


Year 9

Cup of soups, cup of noodles

Muesli bars/breakfast bakes

Baked beans/spaghetti

Year 10

Small tubs of fruit



Year 11


Pasta sauce


Year 12




To learn more about St Mary’s House of Welcome please go to https://www.smhow.org.au/

Bronwyn Ilott

Head of Justice Education
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