On Thursday 28th May Ms Gatsios, Ms Holmes & Ms Grant took 30 Year 12 VCAL students to the RSPCA in Burwood to consolidate their understanding and increase their awareness of community engagement of animal welfare.

We began the day with the educators discussing the 5 FREEDOMS for animals and how we can make a difference, no matter how small the effort. This session also gave the students opportunity to ask questions specific to their research topic.

During this time, Laura the educator introduced her dog Kenzie, a 4 year old border collie, which she had purchased through a reputable breeder after her ‘rescue’ border collie had passed away. Kenzie showed us how clever she was with her tricks and skills and socialising with the students.

The second session the students were guided through the facility, including the adoption centre where the rescue cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, duck, birds etc are housed, explaining that each animal has regular human attention, walks, and free time. The tour also included a walk through the grounds, the quarantine, vet hospital/clinic, office/reception and the on-site ‘shop’.

The third session was the making of animal toys for the shelter/adoption animals (cats and dogs).

The students contributed to the organisation that receives Government funding $30million, however, these funds go towards paying wages for administration and the animal inspectors. The RSPCA relies on the generosity of the community from all over Victoria, including wealthy people who donate and bequeath monies and the volunteers who assist with cleaning out cages & pens, feeding, grooming, and exercising the animals. The community are encouraged to donate goods like blankets, pillow cases, sheets, wool (for toy making), plastic bottle lids, toilet roll cylinders, animal carry cases, bedding, toys, food and spread the word of awareness!

All students had an enjoyable day and represented our school well. It was a wonderful learning experience for them.