Here are a few dates for your diaries:
Thursday 19, December 7:30pm- This is the end-of-year Tutor Drinks Night- PAs, Grattan St Carlton.
An opportunity for some child-free socialising. Partners welcome
Saturday 21, December 12 - 1pm Santa's visit and presents. The final SAIL for 2002.
Saturday 22, February 2003 10:30am The first SAIL for 2003
Saturday 15, March 2003 12– 1pm Tutor Talk with Dr John Munro about children's literacy
Saturday 3 April 2003 12 – 1pm Follow-up Tutor Talk with John Munro –discussing literacy assessment
Please let us know if you will be away in February so we can adjust the first SAIL if necessary.
The final SAIL for the year will involve the usual tutoring session, albeit a fairly relaxed one, after which we will gather in the church to await the arrival of out very own Secular Santa. The kindergarten at Ruyton will be providing our students with presents. Please allow at least an hour extra for all the partying to be over.
End-of-Year presents from tutors to students
We are concerned that there is great potential for disappointment if some students receive a present from their tutor for the End-of-Year, while others do not. For this reason, we have a present policy. It would be good if every tutor could buy one present for one of their students. We don’t want people spending their life savings, so there will be a $5 cap on presents from tutors to students. If this is going to cause you even minor financial hardship, please contact us before the 15th of December. We have some present vouchers and some SAIL money with which we can cover second students and cover for anyone who is going to struggle to buy a $5 present. For those who do not have their own student or those who tutor adults, it would be great if you could donate $5 to cover costs for the remaining students. Again, this is negotiable. Please give us a call or email if there’s going to be a problem. We want everything at SAIL to be fair and equal so that this SAIL End-of-Year-Party, like last years, is an event to remember.
Matthew and Anna Grace join the Public Speakers Circuit
We have been invited to speak at two upcoming events. In return we have negotiated free entry for all SAIL volunteers.
Firstly, we have been invited to run a workshop at the National Conference of the Mercy Refugee Service, which runs from the evening of Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd November. It will address the role of various NGO’s and refugee services.Our session is called 'Who is my neighbour?' it will take place on Saturday 23rd November at 1:15pm. The offer of free attendance is open to any SAILor for any part of the conference. Those interested should contact us via email or phone to find out more information and register their desire to attend. The conference will take place at 'The Academy' 88 Nicholson St, Fitzroy.
Matthew will be a keynote speaker at World Human Rights Day celebrations at Banyule Theatre, Heidelberg at 7:45pm on Saturday 7th of December. The topic for the evening is 'A new healing process for a planet in turmoil' – SAIL, we assume, is considered part of the healing, not the turmoil.
Following these events, we will make ourselves available for any other engagements to which we are invited; you may know of a children's party looking for some light entertainment? A family function? We'll talk about just about anything from SAIL to Sudanese refugees to Sudanese refugees who come to SAIL. Alternatively, you can just call us and we'll do a private ad lib speech right there and then. Again, no charge.
SAILing on music
We are thrilled to announce that we have organised for 13 SAILors between the ages of 8 and 12 to attend the Summer Music School at the Victoria College of the Arts in January. Thanks to the generosity of the organisers, Melbourne Youth Music, these SAILors will be attending a five day camp and joining a beginner’s band on any instrument they choose with free instrument hire. We may yet release 'SAIL Unplugged'.
This Sunday, a few SAILors will be heading off to see the “‘Lil’ Horrors’ Live on Stage” Concert at the Melbourne Town Hall. We won tickets to this by entering a competition in a local paper!
We love it that people are continuously approaching us to write about SAIL for various publications. There has been some fabulous stuff written and it’s a delight to see people motivated enough to write about the Program. We are however, not as enthusiastic when people write about SAIL without informing us first as recently occurred.
We have two relevant self-imposed policies for decision making in this regard. Firstly, all SAIL related decisions we make we always keep in mind the interests of the most vulnerable SAILors – the children. We are acutely aware of their right to represent themselves and where they cannot, their right to authorise other people's representations of them with their and / or their parent's informed consent. There are many political and cultural issues pertinent to publicity which must also be considered as paramount. Secondly, we prefer printed publicity adheres to two condition’s. That it is an accurate representation of SAIL and more importantly, the Sudanese community, and that it isn’t just ‘promotion for promotions sake’ - we don’t want to become over, or unnecessarily, exposed. For this reason we prefer that publicity to do with SAIL has a goal or reason - for example, the recent run of articles have all had requests for food donations from the readership. We therefore ask that people who do write pieces about SAIL for publication please seek clearance from us beforehand.
Search for a Sudanese Supermodel- You've seen the TV show now play the live-action game!
Probably the most famous Southern Sudanese person in the world was in Melbourne this week. As a result we launched ourselves on a woman-hunt to try and track her down. Alek Wek is a Dinka woman who fled to England as a refugee she is also currently one of the world's hottest supermodels. She is also a vocal campaigner for awareness of the atrocities occurring in Sudan. We made contact with her during her 60 hours in Melbourne (as part of Mercedes Fashion Week) and extended an invitation to SAIL for her next visit. Model agent, Peter Chadwick (of Chadwicks) has already contacted Matthew. Matthew accepted... only to be told he wasn’t being offered a modelling contract. Instead, Peter called to convey that we can expect Alek’s support in the future. She will be contacting us from New York when she lands.
In an equally exciting quest, on of our PR gurus, has received provisional support from Safeway Newmarket to supply us with sandwich fillings in the future. This is particularly good news since, at present, this is by far our largest expense. Our most sincere thanks on everyone's behalf to Kevin.
SAILing and Roving
Last week, thanks to our PR team (again), ten SAILors went and watched Rove Live being filmed. We rubbed shoulders with the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Heather Graham, Olivia Newton- John, Craig David, Danii Minogue, Mick Molloy and the band, Machine Gun Fellatio (and yes, it was a little awkward trying to explain the meaning to an ESL student). The SAILors were amazed by all the excitement of the lights, camera and action.
Heather, Danii and Mick mentioned wanting to become tutors- unfortunately we had to knock them back because we have enough at the moment. Olivia also said that we were 'the one that I want oh oh oh'. Craig David told us he was busy from Thursday to Saturday. Sir Richard offered his loose change and we said, instead he should treat himself with an icecream company or two. We thought you'd like to know that we do have standards.
Thanks also to Lynn, Katie and Peter for all their extraordinary hard work on the SAIL Art Exhibition. It was incredible to see SAILors put in so much work at this busy time of year. The kids got a chance to have their artwork viewed, praised and appreciated and the hall is now such a bright place, and a more conducive environment to learn in. We love the mural! We urge any tutor whose student produces a drawing or activity that they are especially proud of to give it to us and we will add it to the collection.
Sudanese beat at the Spiegeltent
We hope everyone who attended the performance of Akon’s Dembai Dance Group at the Spiegeltent enjoyed it as much as we did. It was fantastic to have such a supportive audience for the group’s big debut.
All Hail to Heather
Thanks again to Heather for struggling her way out to SAIL and battling through the tutor talk with a blinding migraine. We really appreciated tutors comments and suggestions and encourage everyone to keep feeding them to us and to Heather whenever you feel the need.
Out of Hours Contact Thanks
Endless thanks to all those who have informed us that they are going to have contact with their student (of any age) outside hours. It continues to be vitally important that we are informed prior to any such contact so that we can run the ideas by Father Don and the parents (if it’s a kid). It’s also worth being careful when you give your own contact details out to students. We recently had a situation where a tutor gave a student her phone number, who misinterpreted this as an offer to call the student multiple times a day, including at midnight! If you do want your student to have your number, it could be worth explaining why you are giving it to them and in what circumstances they should / may call.
The case of the wandering baby a.k.a Nomad Watch
Our nomadic population has taken a sudden dip after the introduction of Nomad Watch. But be vigilant, nomads has a tendency to sneak out when you least expect them. If you see nomadism being practiced by any child between the ages of 0 and 5 years- except where they are with their parents, please return them to the SAIL Baby room (the Chapel) or alert Matthew or Anna Grace immediately. This should continue to reduce the distractions for all other tutors and their students.
SAIL now has an active fleet of almost 40 vehicles! We want to sincerely thank each and every driver for filling their cars with tutors and students on their journey's to SAIL. The attendance of a vast majority of students would not be possible without your help.
In the past week, SAIL has reached two meaningless milestones. Firstly, we have taken on our 100th volunteer as we scramble endlessly to keep pace with the growth of the Sudanese community. Secondly, we have just had our 1,000th visitor to the SAIL website.
Ongoing thanks for your dedication to the SAIL Program,