Fairfield college a finalist for funding

Student Mariana Scanlna and Principal Carolyn Blanden are happy the Warakirri College has been listed as a top 4 Australian finalist in the Optus Community Grants People;s Choice Awards. Picture: Simon Bennett
Student Mariana Scanlna and Principal Carolyn Blanden are happy the Warakirri College has been listed as a top 4 Australian finalist in the Optus Community Grants People;s Choice Awards. Picture: Simon Bennett

WARAKIRRI College has been announced as one of four Australian finalists in the running to receive $10,000 from the Optus Community Grants People's Choice Awards.

The independent high school is based in Fairfield and provides an education to disadvantaged young people who have disengaged from mainstream schooling.

The College was chosen from 665 entrants to be in the top-four, and first place will be decided by votes from the community.

College Principal Carolyn Blanden said the school hoped they would be successful in winning the grant, and would use the funds to purchase stylus computers.

The new technology would enhance the participation and learning of students, who would be able to access all class material at home through The Cloud.

With 53 per cent of students listed as having a disability or mental illness, and some needing time off to act as parents or carers, many students are unable to attend the school full-time.

"That makes it really hard for them, but if we get these extra computers they can keep up, even when they're absent," Ms Blanden said.

As well as preventing disadvantage from absence, Ms Blanden said community votes would also help students who had experienced low self-esteem and bullying to gain a sense of self-worth and encouragement.

"To think that people out there voting for their success would be enormously empowering for them," she said.

"The students feel really positive when the community is behind them supporting them, I think it would inspire them to keep going."

Voting ends February 23. To vote for Warakirri College go to: optus-community-grants.pgtb.me/HxQG73.

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