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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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18 August, 2021

Gift-giving students celebrate 200 years

Local school kids set out to give some love.

By Michael R Williams

Millie Player and Kai Matthews gifting Charlee Ironside from the Longreach Tavern a rosemary pot plant.

IT may have been described as random, but last Wednesday, local students managed great acts of kindness.  

As a result of 200 years of Catholic education in Australia, convoys of the smallest marchers from Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School set out to spread their goodwill among local shops.  

The students gifted a small rosemary pot plant to local businesses in the Longreach CBD, some mustering up the courage to speak to strangers on their lonesome.  

Some even wrote a small prayer for the business, which can be seen on display in various shops around town.  
Our Lady’s Catholic School Assistant Principle and Head of Religious Education Ayla Newby said it was a little bit like a birthday party for Catholic education.  

“It’s really important that the children do a random act of kindness — it’s usually something fun,” she said.  

“The theme of this year’s event is a spirited tomorrow. 

“It centres around growth [hence] the sprigs of rosemary.” 

The rosemary had been grown in the bush chapel where the school hosts mass and liturgies.  

Ms Newby said a random act of kindness does not necessarily have to be a gift. 

“But it’s a good physical way of showing the kids that they’re doing something generous,” she said.  

“We do a lot of fundraising, but this is a chance for the kids to do something positive that isn’t monetary. 

“It’s a surprise, the businesses don’t know it’s coming.” 

Ms Newby said it was about teaching the students about giving without wanting something in return.  

“I think it [also] is something that might give them [the students] a confidence boost,” she said.  

“When the businesses are so warm and surprised, the kids [empathise]. 

“It is a chain reaction.”   

Ms Newby said it was a good way for the students to get involved with the community. 

“With COVID, there’s a lot of things we haven’t been able to do,” she said.  

“Usually the preps, ones, and twos go to Pioneer’s Homes and do something each term, but we haven’t been able to do that for quite a while. 

“So, something like this is really good for the students.” 

During the Year 3’s venture along Eagle St, one vendor, SOS Down Under gave the kids and free bag-full of chicken nuggets, in return for their gifts.  

Business owner, Steven Landriat said kindness is always good. 

“Treat people kind — people treat you kind,” he said.  

“That’s been my method for years.” 

“When the kids came up and they had that little treat to give me, I thought why not [give them the nuggets]?” 

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