The power of social enterprise in community

After receiving a $400 donation from the Cathedral College Wangaratta, the Merriwa team were keen to meet the students and teachers involved in the project and find out more about their involvement as a social enterprise school.

Tim Gerrish, Year Ten Coordinator and Materials and Technology teacher, explained that their social enterprise school had originally approached Merriwa for a donation of timber to work on projects with the students, and through the support of the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) were able to put the timber to great use, “We have a fantastic partnership with the ACRE, who approached us to come up with an idea and create a gift for delegates attending the 2022 Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) being hosted in Beechworth, which is where the concept for the timber keychains came about.”

“Using the timber from Merriwa and razor wire from the Beechworth prison, we created a unique gift that was greatly appreciated by the delegates, and we were able to raise $400 for the keychains. It was fantastic that we could raise money through this student led project and give back to Merriwa.”

Tom Colcott from ACRE spoke of the connection in community and how the keychains were perfect for the SEWF event in Beechworth, “Our partnership with Cathedral College has gone from strength to strength since commencing the Social Enterprise Schools program in 2016. When the delegates from our world forum event understood the connection with Merriwa as a social enterprise and the work the school was doing, they were extremely impressed and in awe of the keychains they had received.”

Tom continued, “The students should be extremely proud of this project; their story of impact in community will travel and be shared across the world to inspire others to be involved in projects with positive social outcomes like this one.”

Since 2016 Cathedral College Wangaratta have been participating in the Social Enterprise Schools program with ACRE who is the Australian hub of the Social Enterprise Academy. In this time, the school has raised over 40k for community causes through the program.

The team at Merriwa look forward to continuing their partnership with the College and sharing the benefits and outcomes of social enterprise in the community.

Cathedral College students at merriwa

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