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Students and their mentors attend a night of theatre for Big Futures

Media
21 Sep 2014

Australian Unity employees became mentors for the night to local high school students from the Big Futures in-school mentoring program and enjoyed the latest production from Australia’s leading Shakespeare company, Bell Shakespeare, The Dream.

Participants of the program run by Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia in South Oakleigh Secondary College and Mt Waverley Secondary College enjoyed a pre-theatre workshop before settling back to watch a truly transformative adaptation of the Shakespeare classic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The event was made possible by Australian Unity who is a founding partner of Big Futures and a longstanding partner of Bell Shakespeare.

Kimina Lyall, Group Executive of Corporate Development at Australian Unity, says this collaboration furthers Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission to unlock the potential of young people and to keep them engaged at school through mentoring.

“We’re excited we’ve been able to create this unique experience for students and employees,” Ms Lyall said.

“As a wellbeing company, we aim to engage our staff in all of our community initiatives and this was a really special one. For staff to share the experience with students who may not get these opportunities often, I think it’s been a memorable night for everyone.”

Sherilyn Hanson, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia, considered the event a taste of what students can expect from a mentoring relationship. “We know the proven benefits of mentoring on students’ achievement in school and later in life. It’s an important part of our mentoring program for young people to relate to positive adult role models who aren’t their parents and teachers, who can bring different life perspectives. This initiative has given students and Australian Unity employees’ first-hand experience of the power of a mentoring relationship.”

Students were excited to be part of the evening’s entertainment, later commenting:

“I’ve never laughed so much” – Jeffrey

“It was rather awesome,” – Madeline

“Chatting with Will (my mentor) was the best bit” – Ryan.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia in-school mentoring program, Big Futures, has commenced in eight schools within the City of Monash. Big Futures gives community members the opportunity to connect with a vulnerable young person in a school setting. Individuals interested in supporting the program should visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia website for more information. Australian Unity is a Founding Partner of the program.

Australian Unity is a national healthcare, financial services and retirement living organisation providing services to more than 650,000 Australians, including more than 300,000 members nationwide. It is a company founded on social values and community contribution.

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For more information please contact:

Nicola McLean

Brand Initiatives Coordinator, Australian Unity

Phone: 03 8682 6768

Email: nmclean@australianunity.com.au

Roberta Steuart

Partnerships and fundraising manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia

Phone: 03 9526 8107

Email: roberta.steuart@bbbsau.org

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