Experiencing our community project



In my first week at The Helmsman Project I was lucky to visit the schools and meet the students enrolled in our programs. One of the highlights of The Helmsman Project’s program is the community projects which students plan and commit to once the program concludes. Cumberland, Chester Hill and Strathfield South high schools all successfully presented their community projects during that week.

At Cumberland the judging panel consisted of: Megan Kublins (Executive General Manager of Property & Development, Brickworks Limited), David Morrison (Manager Technical Training Centre Endeavour Energy), Kim Larochelle, Robert Milne, Mechel Pikoulas (Principal).

The student group of 7 girls presented their project which is to promote multi-use water bottles in favour of single use plastic bottles that were causing significant environmental damage and killing wildlife around the world. To promote multi-use water bottles the students had contacted various suppliers and obtained a competitive price which they hoped the school would purchase. In addition, they had obtained quotations from several companies to build water fountains on the school grounds. Mechel Pikoulas encouraged the students to approach Carlingford West Public School next door and ask them to adopt the same approach. We also thought they should see if the local council might be interested in meeting some of the costs.

The panel were unanimous in their praise of this project and its supporting presentation particularly in relation to their use of video, graphics, timelines and budgets. We all look forward to the project being successfully adopted by the school(s) and the water fountain built.

This is a community project which the local media may get excited about and who know where it might lead – a nationwide ban on single use plastic bottles in schools!!

At Chester Hill the panel included: Tess Hattingh (General Manager EG Funds Management), David Morrison (Endeavour Energy), Kim Larochelle, Robert Milne, Julia Cremmond (Deputy Principal).

The student group of 5 girls presented their project concerning homelessness in Sydney. They plan to build an ongoing legacy within the school so every year students would donate clothing to the homeless and information concerning their plight would be provided to the school students via the school’s notice board and discussions with teachers in class. The students visited homeless centres in Kings Cross with Julia Cremmond.

The project very well presentation and the students impressed the panel by the compassion and understanding.

And at Strathfield South the panel included: Jo Cameron (CEO The Goodman Foundation), Kim Larochelle, Robert Milne, Simon Paterson (Principal).

The student group of 7 girls were introduced to Caretakers Cottage which is an Australian non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Sydney assisting children and young adults facing homelessness. They presented a bold and innovative idea to supply two boxes of items to the youth homeless. 

A physical box containing clothing and blankets and, a mental box to stimulate the young homeless and would include items such as books and arts & craft. The students plan to build an ongoing legacy relationship of support between their school and Caretakers Cottage be holding an annual events called Caretakers Week encouraging school students to donate clothing, blankets, books and craft items to fill the mental and physical boxes for the youth homeless. The panel members were brought to tears by the presentation.

Jo Cameron was inspired by the group and kindly offered the school access to Good360 to source items for their youth homeless boxes. Good360 is a charitable organization established by the Goodman Foundation with a mission to help companies donate excess merchandise to charities instead of destroying it.

The Helmsman Project will support this wonderful initiative by providing the school with funds to purchase any items not sourced from Good360.

The project received the highest praise from the panel.

How’s that? For my first week in the job? I couldn’t have anticipated a better way to start!!



Robert Milne

Robert was interim CEO from July 2018 to April 2019.


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