Who will be the local hero

Brisbane Water Secondary College, Woy Woy Campus (BWSC) English Studies students are busy reflecting on local heroes after completing an excursion visiting and hearing from their local community heroes last Monday as part of their Local Heroes Unit.

Brisbane Water Secondary College, Woy Woy Campus, English students

7 June 2022


BRISBANE Water Secondary College students heard from Paul Sharpe, a veteran Surf Lifesaving Volunteer, NSW Police representatives, Fire and Rescue NSW representatives, Mingaletta representatives and the Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, where they learnt about the challenges they face in their jobs and the programs they can call to get support.


Sally Oman English Studies Teacher at BWSC and former student of Liesl Tesch said the Local Heroes Unit aims to facilitate connections to community for students.


“This program I developed in 2021 after its success has been re-implemented, this time across all our English Studies classes,” said Sally Oman.


“The whole idea is for students to connect with the community and facilitate a feeling of belonging and spark a desire to engage with the community and give back. It is all about not only teaching English but also instilling good values.


“To select our local heroes to participate we conducted a survey with the students asking who they wanted to hear from.


“The students were inspired, learning how to make changes, through our political talk with Liesl Tesch to knowing the way Mingaletta has become so successful despite relying on donations and community volunteers, as well as hearing from BWSC alumni, like Mel from NSW Police who was school captain at BWSC in 2008.”


The assessment students are preparing for includes a persuasive writing task that requires focusing on one of the local heroes they met over their excursion and proposing their submission of why they should be deemed the local hero of the year.


There are just under 50 students enrolled in the English Studies course who took part in the event.


Georgie and Brooke, two students who participated in the excursion say it made them realise the reality of these community services.


“The day definitely made us realise all of their jobs are a lot harder than what we thought,” they said.


“Hearing their stories and what they have seen, what they have heard, it just showed us just how much they have done for the community and the sacrifices they have made to help others.”


Georgie and Brooke said it helped them also contemplate their future careers with Georgie, who previously had no idea what she wanted to do, feeling inspired to contemplate a role in the NSW Police force.


Liesl Tesch says this is a great program and she was honoured to be able to share her stories with the students.


“I love my job and every day I am privileged to represent our community, however my favourite activity is going back to my roots and engaging with young students who will be our future leaders and future local heroes one day,” Liesl Tesch said.


“I was absolutely honoured to be invited to present to the students. While I taught the students about my role I can certainly tell you now I also learnt from them and how I can support their future.


“It was a wonderful day and a great experience. I cannot wait to see what they write for their final assessments and I wish all the Year 11s the best of luck.”

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