St Andrews Student Network Bring It On!

Students across six high schools in southwest Sydney are encouraging their peers to prioritise mental and physical wellbeing.

A group of students stand together looking towards the camera A group of students stand together looking towards the camera
Image: Students from the Student Wellbeing Action Group across six high schools from the St Andrews network, ‘brought on’ the message of prioritising mental and physical wellbeing at Fairfield City Council's Bring It On! Festival.

Students from the Student Wellbeing Action Group (SWAG) across six high schools from the St Andrews network, ‘brought on’ the message of prioritising mental and physical wellbeing at Fairfield City Council's Bring It On! Festival.

Throughout the day, students handed out brochures, ran a soccer-based activity and debuted the student-designed SWAG logo, with custom SWAG cookies as prizes and wearing SWAG t-shirts.

Part of Fairfield City Council's Youth Week events, the Bring It On! Festival is a free annual music, sporting and arts festival for young people aged 12 – 24, attracting thousands of people each year. This year’s Festival was held on Sunday, 10 April at Fairfield Showground, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macquarie Fields High School Head Teacher, Teaching and Wellbeing, Melissa Collins, said the students did a “fantastic job” of engaging with community members, with tips and a brochure on how to manage student assessment stress.

“It was great to see students really demonstrating this year’s focus for SWAG - ‘Unity through Community’ - at the Bring It On! Festival,” Melissa said.

“Connecting with others is so important for all of us. It’s so important for young people, their families and carers to understand and know they can talk about mental health and wellbeing in a supported and supportive way.”

“A huge thanks to all the students involved who took time out of their weekend to engage with SWAG’s key priorities of educating students, parents and carers and the wider community about student wellbeing needs,” Melissa said.

SWAG was started at an inter-school leadership summit in May 2021 by Year 12 student representatives from six high schools in the St Andrews network including: Ingleburn, James Meehan, Leumeah, Macquarie Fields, Robert Townson and Sarah Redfern High Schools; with the aim of promoting and encouraging better mental health practices and awareness among students and local families.

The letters are also an acronym for a check-in framework the SWAG group developed – “Seek and speak, Wait and listen, Acknowledge and Go to” – which they are working on to become regular practice amongst students throughout each of the schools.

Two students stand together and hold brochures Two students stand together and hold brochures
Image: Macquarie Fields High School students and SWAG members, Harshita Jayaprakash (left) and Lakshmi Rajendran at the Bring It On! Festival SWAG stall.
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