Making the world a better place

Following the results of the Resilience Survey, a group of eight Grade 5 boys met weekly during Term 2, 2016, to think about "how to make the world a better place" and decide on a course of action... This is what followed.



Thomastown Primary School, Northern Melbourne


Thomastown Primary School is a small (230 students) school in Northern Melbourne. It is a culturally diverse school community (approx. 30 language groupings) with a language centre on site. Thomastown Primary School has a 30% mobility rate. Their S.F.O puts them in the poorest 10% of schools in Australia. They have an excellent team, all dedicated to improving the life chances of our students.


The eight Grade 5 boys decided to hold an out of school uniform day to raise money to help the homeless people the boys sometimes saw sleeping rough around Thomastown.

The boys discovered that a local agency was working with Thomastown’s homeless population so they decided to donate the money to them.

They  generated a list of tasks and each of the boys took on responsibility for a task. The boys found out facts about homelessness, then made up short speeches that they delivered to each grade and to the school assembly. They made posters to put around the school and contacted the agency, Whittlesea, Community Connections,  to ask them to come and receive the cheque at a school assembly.

The day was a great success, with the boys raising nearly twice what a usual ‘out of uniform’ day would generate.

The process had benefits beyond the life of the project with teachers reporting improvements in behaviour and greater school work applicability.

Strong friendships were formed during the group process, leading to some previously marginalised boys receiving greater social support and recognition.

This year, the school plans to use the same group of boys to help a younger cohort achieve their world improving dreams.