Meet our Community Service Leaders Elissa Abbas and Amyra Handa

Year 12 students, Elissa Abbas and Amyra Handa, are Clarendon’s 2023 Community Service Leaders. Having participated in several initiatives in Term 1, Elissa and Amyra are looking forward to providing further education and fundraising opportunities for the community in Term 2.

As Community Service Leaders, Elissa and Amyra are responsible for working with other students and staff to organise, plan and run events to fundraise and raise awareness while promoting a culture of giving back to the Ballarat and wider community.

“Organising community service initiatives for Clarendon has been very rewarding, as it has allowed me to contribute to the betterment of our school and society at large while being a part of a team,” said Elissa. “Being a leader means I can help give back to my community with like-minded students while addressing social issues in our community.”

“Participating in community service initiatives provides me an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others and helps me feel a part of the community,” said Amyra. “Being a leader has helped me develop new skills including effective communication, problem-solving and teamwork, as well as the opportunity to meet new people from diverse backgrounds.”

Amyra currently volunteers as a tutor at the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Diversity Homework Club, where she assists disadvantaged primary school-aged children build their fundamental English, science and mathematics skills. She creates and implements a weekly lesson plan that engages students and assists them with their learning.

Elissa volunteers as a teacher of spiritual education for children in her community every Saturday, and has been doing so for two years. Her role as an assistant teacher sees her foster a nurturing and supportive environment where children can lead and develop their spiritual capacities, including generosity, truthfulness, respect, selflessness, honesty, patience and service to others.

Elissa and Amyra are also a part of the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, which coordinated the recent fundraising event for the Aboriginal Literacy and Numeracy Association. The Clarendon community raised over $3,500 for the fund while educating students from Y5-12 on the significance of National Close the Gap Day. They are also working with the Clarendon Queer Community to organise a barbecue to raise awareness and funds for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Lesbophobia and Transphobia at the Performing Arts Picnic this Friday.

In preparation for Term 2, the community service team are working on a clothes drive in the Middle School, organising a fundraiser to support those affected by the Turkey and Syria Earthquakes and brainstorming ways to raise awareness during mental health month in May.

“We want to foster a culture of love of service while positively making a difference in our local community,” said Elissa. “This will involve partnering with local organisations and community groups to identify a need for service and instilling a sense of belonging within a community.”

“This year, our goal is to not only raise funds but raise awareness and educate people on the purpose of our fundraisers,” said Amyra. “We hope this will encourage students to volunteer their time, energy and resources so they can make a positive impact in the Ballarat Clarendon College and wider communities.”

We are proud of our leaders and the Clarendon community for continuing to strive to make the world a better place for those less fortunate than themselves. Thank you to all of the students, staff and families who participated in our community initiatives during Term 1 2023.