The Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) at Brisbane State High is gearing up for the biggest day in its 2021 calendar, with State High Day on Saturday 31 July to celebrate the school’s centenary. They will rely on over 100 volunteers for the day. Staging significant events is just one of the many roles provided by Brisbane State High’s P&C.
State schools in Queensland rely heavily on volunteer parents and friends for a range of essential day to day functions. For example, BSHS P&C manages three canteens on campus, a uniform shop, and oversees the maintenance of sporting fields.
President of the P&C Michelle Koripas says the P&C also supports extracurricular activities through a web of P&C subcommittees. These include football, rugby, rowing, cricket, music, dance and athletics. In addition, each of the subcommittees organises its fundraising activities such as barbecues, mango drives, or selling promotional gear, to name a few.
The P&C provides insurance for students when they leave the school grounds for extracurricular activities and buses to transport students to and from events. The P&C also supports library resources.
Michelle said that private schools can usually pay for coaches and other student experiences, but this is not the case for State schools. She said BSHS has one of the lowest per capita funding of any public high school in Australia (2016 ABC data).
“Without the funds that the P&C raises, certain things would not be available. It might be an instrument or sporting equipment: it can even be an experience.”
“If we didn’t provide that support, the school would be asked to charge parents to provide those resources, which would then make it too expensive for students to participate.”
Michelle says volunteering for the P&C is about doing something bigger than yourself.
“When you have those parent groups out there it really sparks that sense of community – they bring people together.” “My son graduated a number of years ago and my daughter is in her last year. That’s a lot of time and energy to put into something and it’s for the betterment of the students, for their experiences, and for the school. It’s nice to know that you’ve made a positive contribution.”
Students are often proud of their parents for getting involved, and research shows a positive correlation between parents’ involvement in P&Cs and their children’s performance at the school. Another reason to consider joining your P&C, Michelle said. Brisbane State High School has over 3400 students at the school representing over 70 nationalities.
“That’s not reflected necessarily in our membership, or our volunteer base, and we really want to reach out and give everyone the benefit of having different perspectives and different cultures to provide the diversity and richness that we wouldn’t get otherwise.”
Those who volunteer in their community would know that it is often the same people who put up their hands to participate. But, unfortunately, for the P&C, this means many parents miss out on opportunities to be with their kids and leave a legacy for their schools.
“This is a time for people to rally together and support each other, and State High Day is an excellent example where we’re going to be able to bring people together,” Michelle Koripas.
You can learn more about friend-raising, fun-raising and fundraising with the BSHS P&C here https://bshspandc.org/getinvolved/
State High Day is on Saturday 31 July.
For events and information visit the website for Celebrating 100 years of State High HERE
See the Centenary website here: https://bshs100.com.au/
And follow in social media at these links:
Cover image of proud State High parent volunteers L-R: Melissa Buirchell, P&C Vice-President, Robyn Moore, P&C Volunteer, and Melissa Smith, P&C Secretary.