13th March 2020

More than 1,200 second-hand Girton Grammar Junior School uniform items have been repurposed and will be shipped to the Philippines in the coming days and donated to the Pangamihan Elementary School.

Acting Head of Girton Grammar School, Dr Emma O’Rielly, said that the non-profit social enterprise, Sisterworks, had undertaken the uniform repurposing and had become part of the Girton family.

“SisterWorks is a Melbourne based organisation supporting female refugees. A group of “Sisters” has been working in the Girton Grammar Junior School every week for about four months, rebranding old Girton uniform items.

“One of our Junior School parents, Kate Mahoney, has coordinated the repurposing project, which commenced with operating our second-hand uniform shop.

“We now have 13 boxes of rebranded uniform items ready for shipping, along with donated stationary and we hope that it will all arrive in early May in readiness for the commencement of the elementary school’s new school year in June.

“We are so proud of this project because there are many beneficiaries.

“We are striving to achieve a zero-waste outcome as we transition to our new school uniform and the students benefit from exposure to the Sisters and their work. We can’t wait to see photos of the Pangamihan Elementary School students when they receive their uniforms,” Dr O’Rielly said.

SisterWorks is dedicated to empowering women, and their mantra is that to support each other is to strengthen each other. In particular, the group brings women together in friendship and provides them with skills that they can use immediately to work and support themselves financially.

The families who send their children to the Pangamihan Elementary School sacrifice much to support their children’s education. Many children walk up to two hours each way, to and from school, each day. The school does not currently have a school uniform.

Father Junray has links with the Pangamihan Elementary School.

“Father Junray Ryanga at St Killians Parish Church here in Bendigo is a long-time supporter of the Pangamihan Elementary School, and he will facilitate the donation of the second-hand Girton uniform items.

“Parent Kate Mahoney in the Girton second-hand uniform shop is now commencing a second project for Senior School uniforms. Volunteer parents and students have begun the huge task of sorting the secondary clothing items, and SisterWorks will be engaged again, to sew Secondary School logos onto the items for donation,” Dr O’Rielly said.

Volunteer parent, Kate Mahoney, is overseeing the uniform repurposing project.