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Mr Mick Madden has been the Head of the Service Learning program at the College since 2009 and has witnessed the positive impacts that the program has had on the boys at Newington. He inherited a service framework which included established relationships with various charities including Oasis, Canteen, The Fred Hollows Foundation,  the TEAR Foundation and our overseas outreach programs with Tonga and Nepal.

According to Mr Madden the Service Learning program is a starting point for the boys to learn more about themselves while also recognising the needs of others.

“I see my role as providing the boys with opportunities…they get the opportunity to do something they normally wouldn’t get to do, and in doing that they learn about themselves, and they learn about the feeling they get when you do something for someone else,” said Mr Madden.

From Years 7–12, students are given the opportunity to engage in several programs, tours and voluntary events at the local, national and international scenes.

The program also boasts a strong sense of practicality and curricular integration. For example, boys in Year 9 have built beds for the youths at the Oasis Youth Shelter home. While in Year 11, every boy gets the opportunity to serve breakfast to the homeless at the Exodus Foundation’s Loaves and Fishes restaurant.

Through both school tours and activities within the local community, the Service Learning program provides the boys with opportunities to learn and reflect on their role within the broader Australian and global community.

Mr Madden stresses the importance and value the process of ‘giving a bit back’ can have on the boys’ development as future leaders and human beings.

He says that this has been particularly evident in the selection of school leaders from within the student body, with future leaders knowing that they must first learn how to ‘serve’ if they wish to ‘lead’.

Mr Madden says, “It is my hope that by encouraging the boys to participate in these hands-on Service Learning activities, we can help to develop young men who show empathy for their fellow man, who are prepared to offer a helping hand to those in need. I would also like to think that these acquired values may stay with them in their adult life and be passed onto their children”.

In addition to teaching Science at the College for over 25 years, Mr Madden is also a trained Physical Education teacher who loves the outdoors and has been on many of the College’s tours over the years.

If you wish to contact Mr Madden, you can email him at: mmadden@newington.nsw.edu.au